By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kathleen A. Gorby, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs
PUERTO CASTILLO, Honduras (NNS) -- Joint forces arrive in Honduras, July 12, in support of Southern Partnership Station-Joint High Speed Vessel 2015 (SPS-JHSV 15).
SPS-JHSV 15 is a joint force comprised of adapted forces including divers, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians, corpsmen, Seabees, intel personnel, preventive medicine specialists, and communication specialists, from the Navy, Marines, Army and Air Force.
Through subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE), construction projects and medical engagements with the host nation's military personnel and civilians, Southern Partnership Station is able to create strong ties between the U.S and its partners.
"Our Seabees and combat engineers are going to focus on construction projects that build the infrastructure and the relationships in the city of Trujillo," said Ground Forces Commander Cmdr. Robert Toth. "Projects were selected in conjunction with the Honduran leadership in the area, and include repairing schools and draining culverts alongside our host nation partners. The Navy EOD and divers are conducting subject matter expert exchanges - helping better understand each other's capabilities, build the Honduran divers' experience levels, and foster key relationships. The medical team is concentrating on SMEE, promoting prevention, suitability and education."
Toth said that SPS-JHSV 15 presents a tremendous learning opportunity for the militaries and governments of all countries involved.
"By working alongside another country, we can learn from them, better understand [their] capabilities, increase their capacity, and enable a greater level of interaction in the future," he added. "So if in the future a humanitarian crises arises, we will have a solidly-built relationship, which allows us to established connections more quickly, and more effectively help them recover."
SPS-JHSV is an annual series of U.S. Navy deployments, fostering a lasting relationship with host nations by promoting and enhancing regional stability and security through the sharing experiences.
"This is ultimately about building relationships and camaraderie across these countries," said Chief Operation Specialist Eliseo Hernandez, mission operations chief. "By conducting missions like this, we get to learn not only about another country, but about its people and its customs. And they can learn about us."
Southern Partnership Station's primary objectives are countering illicit trafficking, theater security cooperation, and building partner capacity through subject matter expert exchanges, construction projects and medical engagements with the host nations' military and civilian personnel. SPS-JHSV 15 ashore forces will be traveling to Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Columbia.
This mission exemplifies the U.S. commitment to cooperative partnership in the Caribbean, Central and South America.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet employs maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships that foster regional security in the 4th Fleet area of responsibility.