Swift Arrives In Jamaica For SPS 2010
By Dialogo May 13, 2010High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) arrived in Port Antonio Jamaica, May 8, 2010, to kick off Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2010. SPS is a recurring deployment of various specialty platforms to the Caribbean and Latin America, with the primary goal of information sharing with navies, coast guards, and civilian services throughout the region. “We share common interests and participation in multinational maritime partnership missions like this one,” said Capt. Kurt Hedberg, mission commander for SPS 2010. “It’s an opportunity for us to foster friendly, mutual cooperation and understanding by coming together to enhance regional maritime security.” While deployed in support of SPS 2010, Swift will visit various countries in the Caribbean island nations, Central and South America over the upcoming months. During the ship’s stay in Jamaica, the crew will meet with the regions civil and maritime services. “The U.S. Navy and USSOUTHCOM are committed to this type of lasting partnership,” said Hedberg. “SPS will give all of us a chance to exchange ideas and mission-focused knowledge and expertise to improve capabilities in key mission areas. Only by communicating and working together can we hope to have the relationships we need in the event of a crisis which requires a multinational effort.” Some of the topics of discussion during the visit are port security, non-commissioned officer professional development, operational risk management, medical readiness, and outboard motor maintenance and patrol craft operation. The U.S. Marine Corps also has an eight-man mobile training team on board Swift to participate in the exchanges. The team will provide instruction in martial arts, non-lethal weapons, and military operations in urban terrain, check-point security, marksmanship and small unit tactics.” This is the fourth SPS deployment in the region and the vision is to continue this effort to maintain a persistent presence in the region as a way to further enhance strong relationships. The ship’s crew is operated and navigated by 17 civilian contract mariners working for a private company under charter to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command. The ship is scheduled to return to the United States in early October 2010.