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Navy participates in humanitarian, law enforcement exercise with Peru, Chile

By Stephen Carlson
Navy participates in humanitarian, law enforcement exercise with Peru, Chile
CH-53E Super Stallion heavy lift transport helicopters on board the amphibious transport dock USS Somerset as they conduct operations off Peru. Photo by Cpl. Brett Norman/U.S. Marine Corps Forces South

Nov. 26 (UPI) -- The amphibious transport dock USS Somerset and the destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer will conduct exercises in Ecuador, Peru and Chile as part of U.S. Southern Command's Enduring Promise Initiative.

Three hundred Marines and sailors from the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Peru aboard the Somerset will train in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief with forces from the Peruvian navy, the U.S. Navy announced on Monday.

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Wayne E. Meyer will conduct exercises with the navy of Ecuador to train in countering illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, a serious issue in the region. Afterward, the Wayne E. Meyer will steam to Chile with the Somerset for the Chilean navy's 200th anniversary celebration and EXPONAVAL 2018.

EXPONAVAL 2018 is the 11th Chilean International Naval & Maritime Exhibition and Congress for Latin America, scheduled for Dec. 4 at Base Aeronaval Concon, Valparaiso, Chile, and is the largest naval exhibition for Latin America on the Pacific.

The four-day exhibition and conference will focus on naval defense and maritime security issues and equipment with participants from eighty-two nations.

The Enduring Promise Initiative is a U.S. Southern Command program to perform exercises and operations with partner nations in the Western Hemisphere for humanitarian assistance and rule of law. It includes direct humanitarian assistance by assets like the hospital ship USNS Comfort, which has been providing medical care, including surgical operations, with stops in Peru.

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Such missions help relieve strain on health providers in Latin America for specialty care, partly due to widespread migration problems, according to the Navy.

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