Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Robert Winkler, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command Public Affairs
CALLAO, Peru (NNS) -- USS New Orleans (LPD 18), along with Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 24 and other embarked units, arrived in the port city of Callao, Peru, July 20, as the second port visit in support of Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station (A-SPS) 2010.
A-SPS is the amphibious portion of Southern Partnership Station, which is a deployment of various specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The mission's primary goal is mission-focused information sharing with navies, coast guards and civilian services throughout the region to enhance regional maritime capabilities and security.
"The professional exchanges in which we have engaged during this deployment have provided both our Navy and those of our partner nations an intimate look into how our respective navies operate," said Capt. Peter J. Brennan, PHIBRON 5 commodore and A-SPS's mission commander. "Global maritime partnership missions such as A-SPS provide a foundation for security for the United States and throughout the world, and this type of interaction creates positive relationships that unite us as one powerful force against any enemy."
New Orleans, along with partner nations and SPMGTF 24 most recently participated in Partnership of the Americas 2010 and Southern Exchange 2010 in support of A-SPS, conducting joint amphibious operations in Salinas and Ancon, Peru.
Subject matter experts from the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay have been participating in cooperative training exercises and information exchanges in a variety of subjects such as refueling-at-sea, boarding team operations and damage control.
"It's a good thing to exchange experiences and to make new friends," said Peruvian navy Ensign Ricardo Kinosita. "That is going to help strengthen the good relationship that we already have. This is a big opportunity for both of us to operate together and share information. I think it will change the way we both work as we learn what it is that each country does well."
While visiting Manzanillo, Mexico, U.S. and partner nation service members participated in painting a local school. Service members conducted a similar community outreach project while in Callao.
"When I go home, I'll tell my friends about the good experiences I had on the ship, mostly the good friendships that I have made," said Kinosito. "I'll take back with me that Americans have great values and are people that they can trust. If they ever have the opportunity to visit the United States, they will enjoy your culture. I think that your officers and Sailors have learned the same thing of us."
New Orleans, along with PHIBRON 5 and other embarked units, are also scheduled to visit Bahia Malaga, Colombia, and Balboa, Panama, during the three-month deployment.