Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2012 was a series of U.S. Navy deployments focused on subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation militaries and civilian security forces in Central & South America and the Caribbean Basin. U.S. military teams work with partner nation militaries during naval-focused training exercises, military-to-military engagements and community relations projects in an effort to enhance cooperative partnerships with regional maritime activities and improve the operational readiness of participants.
SPS 2012 overview
SPS 2012 deployments focus on sharing mission-focused knowledge and expertise during various port visits so each participating country is able to improve capabilities in what it considers key mission areas. The goal of these engagements is to enhance regional security by sharing expertise, refining coordination and developing open lines of communication. The types of operations and engagements have been requested by and coordinated with each partner nation.
SPS 2012 is a U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM)-directed operation implemented by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / U.S. Fourth Fleet.
SPS 2012 is a continuation of the U.S. military’s commitment to the region and is being conducted to support the U.S. Maritime Strategy and SOUTHCOM strategy of establishing and enhancing regional partnerships and promoting hemispheric stability. The SPS concept is based on the premise that strong, open, multilateral partnerships enhance regional stability and security.
Navy Dive-Southern Partnership Station 2012
During the deployment, MDSU 2, Company 2-1 will conduct dive operations with counterparts from several Caribbean, Central and South American countries, trading tactics and sharing experiences.
ND-SPS 12 is a multinational partnership engagement designed to increase interoperability and partner nation capacity through diving operations.
COMPLETED -- HSV-Southern Partnership Station (HSV-SPS) 2012
The U.S. Navy deployed High Speed Vessel 2 Swift
to Central and South America and the Caribbean Basin to conduct subject matter expert exchanges and orientations from November 2011 to March 2012.
The HSV-SPS 2012 crew engaged with partner nation defense forces, police departments and Coast Guards. Swift visited Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Panama and Haiti. They provided subject matter experts to host-nation maritime services to conduct training. The Swift teams focused on locally identified needs, such as port security, non-commissioned officer professional development, operational risk management, medical readiness, outboard motor maintenance, and patrol craft operation, among others.
Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion and Marines from U.S. Marine Forces South completed construction projects in each port stop. The team refurbished or rebuilt nine schools, one medical clinic and two recreation facilities, working with more than 60 partner engineers from Guatemala, Peru and Indonesia. The 12 projects totaled $81,000 and will impact more than 5,000 students throughout South and Central America, and the Caribbean.
About the HSV-SPS crew:
All branches of the U.S. military are represented on Swift. Specialists from the Seabees, Marines, medical and veterinary fields, Naval Criminal Investigatory Services (NCIS), Expeditionary Security Team (EST), and Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) are aboard Swift for this mission.
About HSV-2 Swift:
HSV 2 Swift is one of two high speed vessels under long-term charter to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command. Swift has a shallow draft of about 11 feet, can travel at a sustained cruising speed up to 35 knots and can carry up to 500 short tons of cargo, including 305 passengers.
COMPLETED -- Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station (A-SPS) 2012
The U.S. Navy deployed USS Oak Hill (LSD 51)
to the Caribbean Basin to conduct subject matter expert exchanges afloat and ashore with partner nation militaries and civilian security forces in several countries from October to December 2011
as part of the Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station (A-SPS) 2012 mission. A focus of the deployment was the disruption of illicit-trafficking in conjunction with U.S and partner nation law enforcement agencies in the Caribbean.
The A-SPS 2012 mission was to conduct combined naval and amphibious subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation military and security forces in order to increase host nation capacity to conduct stability and peacekeeping operations. The team from Oak Hill conducted exchanges with Panamanian and Colombian security forces.
During the deployment, the ship and embarked U.S. Coast Guared Law Enforcement Detachment successfully interdicted two shipments of contraband containing nearly 4,000 kilos, detained 24 persons suspected of trafficking and provided an assist on a third. The estimated street value of the narcotics interdicted by the Oak Hill team was nearly $475 million dollars.
About the A-SPS 12 crew:
Oak Hill had a task force of more than 700 personnel consisting of service members from Amphibious Squadron (PHIPBRON) 8, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, Helicopter Marine Medium 774, Second Amphibious Assault Vehicle Battalion, Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 3, Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 2, Beach Master Unit 2, Joint Inter-Agency Task Force South (JIATF-S) and Public Affairs Support Element.