CARTAGENA, Colombia (NNS) -- A team of U.S. Navy divers begin Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEE) and partner capacity building engagements Aug. 24 with Colombian military and security forces as part of Southern Partnership Station 2018.
The visit to Cartagena, Colombia marks the second of four planned engagements by Navy Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 during Southern Partnership Station 2018. The team recently completed a successful stop in Trinidad and Tobago, and has future stops planned in Honduras and Panama to work alongside those nations’ military forces, security forces, civilian health professionals, and other governmental agencies.
“We are looking forward to being a part of international exchanges, and getting to meet our foreign counterparts,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class John Campbell, a deep sea independent duty corpsman assigned to MDSU-2. “We will get to know our counterparts from Colombia, exchange different diving practices, and hopefully share some of my diving medical knowledge.”
Held on an annual basis by U.S. Southern Command and executed by U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, Southern Partnership Station is a U.S. Navy deployment focused on SMEEs with partner nation militaries and security forces in the Caribbean, Central and South America.
Specific exchange topics include scuba and surface supplied diving operations, dive casualty diagnosis and treatment, underwater search procedures, and area search procedures with towed sonar.
“Exchanges like this gives us the opportunity to share the knowledge we have,” said Senior Chief Navy Diver Jason Mette, the master diver and senior enlisted advisor for the team. “We are also able to learn from them and gain knowledge. We’ll be able to share knowledge back and forth, and work to develop tactics, techniques and procedures.”
Southern Partnership Station focuses on enhancing cooperative partnerships with regional maritime services and improving operational readiness for all participants. Additionally, the mission will provide an opportunity for U.S. and partner nations to operate in a multinational environment, refine coordination, improve interoperability and demonstrate flexibility.
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