Thursday, May 14, 2009

Multinational Exercise Increases Interoperability in Caribbean

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brandon Shelander, U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs

CARIBBEAN SEA (NNS) -- Ships from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and the United States are participating in Operacion Multinacional Alianza, a post-UNITAS Gold naval exercise hosted by Colombia, May 8-14.

Participating ships are BNS Constituicao (F-42), CS Blanco Encalada (CF-15), ARC Almirante Padilla (FM-51), ARC Cartagena De Indias (BL-161), BAP Aguirre (FM-55), USS Doyle (FFG-39) and USS Kauffman (FFG-59).

During the exercise, participants will practice maritime interdiction operations, ship formations, anti-submarine warfare, air attack exercises and practice firing.

Participants will wrap up the exercise in Cartagena, Colombia, with a farewell dinner. The port visit will provide Sailors the opportunity to experience South American culture and to serve as goodwill ambassadors in Cartagena. Sailors will also participate in community relations projects to build relationships and mutual understanding with the local community.

Afterward, Doyle and Kauffman will continue on with U.S. Southern Command's Southern Seas 2009 deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean. Supporting U.S. Southern Command objectives for enhanced maritime security in its area of focus, Southern Seas 2009 focuses on enhancing relationships with regional partner nations and improving operational readiness for all assigned units.

Southern Seas provides the opportunity for U.S. and other forces to operate in the multinational environment, refine coordination, improve interoperability and demonstrate flexibility.

USNS Comfort (T-AH 23) will follow Doyle and Kauffman's to Columbia during Partnership of the Americas' Continuing Promise, during which it will provide medical, dental and veterinarian aid to countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.