Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Central, South America Partners Gather for PANAMAX

By U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- More than 75 military personnel, including 54 members of partner-nation navies, assembled July 27 on Naval Station Mayport for PANAMAX 2015, an exercise aimed at developing strong working relationships between multinational forces to ensure the defense of the Panama Canal.

The exercise, which is scheduled to run July 27 - Aug. 7, includes participants from 19 nations: Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Jamaica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

"This exercise allows countries to create friendships and come together as a multinational force while combating common threats," said Chilean Rear Adm. Ronald McIntyre, the Combined Forces Maritime Component Commander for the exercise. "This training will ensure that regional security and stability work for the prosperity of our nations."

Under the exercise scenario, a multinational force has formed to execute a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for defense of the canal. The force includes air, land and special-forces components, in addition to the maritime component, which will plan and conduct simulated operations in and around the canal and its surrounding waters in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

"The highlight of this exercise is to develop interoperability between our units and have the opportunity to face very close to our reality regional threats," said McIntyre. "By working together, we prevent actions that threaten maritime security and are intended to prevent the free navigation and destabilize the region."

U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Jon Matheson, the deputy commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, is serving as McIntyre's deputy commander during the exercise.

"One of the most valuable components of this exercise is that we come together from different nations, with many different perspectives," said Matheson. "That is the power of a coalition force and it is normal to occasionally have spirited discussions in order to work through complex problems. But at the end of this exercise, the relationships that have been established and the mutual understanding attained will serve us extremely well in the event we have to put together a coalition force for a real-world event."

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, the exercise host, supports U.S. Southern Command's joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

USS Porter Arrives in Haifa, Israel

From U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

HAIFA, Israel (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) arrived in Haifa, Israel, for a scheduled port visit July 26.

The port visit serves to enhance U.S.-Israeli relations as the two nations work together for a stable, secure and prosperous region.


"Most of my crew has never had the opportunity to visit Israel and they are extremely excited about exploring all of the historical sites and experiencing the local culture. We will also have several opportunities to interact with the Israeli Navy, enabling us to share our experiences and improve our integration for combined operations." - Cmdr. Blair Guy, USS Porter commanding officer

Quick Facts:

While in port, Sailors will have the opportunity to visit the local sights, experience the culture, and interact with the people of Israel.

U.S. and Israeli divers recently participated in the annual bilateral exercise Noble Melinda July 13-23, 2015.

The U.S. Navy routinely visits Haifa. USS Laboon (DDG 58) and USS Ross (DDG 71) made a port visit in March of this year.

Porter departed its homeport in Naval Station Rota, Spain, June 29, 2015, to conduct naval operations with partners and allies in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in order to advance security and stability in Europe.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint and inter-agency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

Chancellorsville Experiences Chamorro Culture in Guam

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Raymond D. Diaz III, USS Chancellorsville Public Affairs

APRA HARBOR, Guam (NNS) -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) arrived in Apra Harbor, Guam, for a port visit, July 27.

Chancellorsville's visit to Guam marks the crew's first port call as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces.

"I'm excited to have the opportunity to be with Chancellorsville visiting Guam," said Chancellorsville's Command Master Chief Jonas D. Carter. "This will be a first time visiting, not only for myself, but for most of the crew."

During the visit, Chancellorsville Sailors will participate in community relation projects at a nearby school and summer camp where they will interact with local students by playing sports, reading, and other activities.

Also, Guam is host to many local Chamorro restaurants and shops alongside familiar stateside establishments where Sailors can dine and shop.

"Many of the Sailors will take advantage of the MWR [Morale, Welfare and Recreation] tours, local shopping, eating venues, and, of course, the two community relation opportunities, all of which, gives us the chance to experience Chamorro culture," said Carter.

Chancellorsville is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.