USS Somerset, USS Wayne E. Meyer arrive in San Diego, Pearl Harbor

The US Navy’s Littoral Combat Group One (LCG-1) returned home to Naval Base San Diego and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after participating in the International Maritime and Naval Exhibition for South America, known as EXPONAVAL.

Both USS Somerset (LPD 25) and USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) visited Valparaiso, Chile, to participate in the bicentennial anniversary of the Chilean Navy, and EXPONAVAL, the major naval exhibition for Latin America on the Pacific coast.

More than 1,000 sailors and marines from the LCG-1 flagship Somerset, embarked Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF)-Peru, and Wayne E. Meyer deployed to South America in order to strengthen relationships and enhance cooperation between partner nations.

Underway, Wayne E. Meyer and embarked US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) from Tactical Law Enforcement Team Pacific conducted a maritime patrol exercise with Ecuadorian Navy assets to counter illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.

“This exercise allows us to assist our partners in enforcing fisheries laws and protecting the economy in the South Pacific,” Lt.j.g. Mike Brooks, the deployable team leader of the embarked LEDET, said.

“A large number of states in this area depend on fisheries for food security and export income, and our Navy-Coast Guard team helps preserve both,” Brooks added.

Alongside the Peruvian Naval Infantry, SPMAGTF-Peru conducted a humanitarian assistance, disaster response exercise in Chorrillos, Peru, an area prone to natural disasters. The bilateral group demonstrated their ability to provide water purification, electricity, medical services, heavy equipment to clear roads and highways, and helicopters to reach isolated areas quickly in times of natural disaster.

Photo: A US Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion flies above USS Somerset (LPD 25) during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise off the coast of Peru in November. Photo: US Navy

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