By Dialogo May 26, 2010 High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) arrived in Balboa-Rodman, Panama, May 22, to kick off the Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2010 visit to the Central American nation. SPS is a deployment of various specialty platforms in the Caribbean and Latin America, with the primary goal of information sharing with navies, coast guards, and civilian services throughout the region. “This visit to Panama and the other nations we’ll visit during this deployment are opportunities for us to foster friendly, mutual cooperation and understanding by coming together to enhance regional maritime security,” said Capt. Kurt Hedberg, mission commander of SPS 2010. “I look forward to getting to know and learning from the people of Panama through our subject matter expert exchanges over the next few weeks.” While deployed in support of SPS 2010, Swift will visit various countries in the Caribbean island nations, Central and South America over the upcoming months. During the ship’s stay in Panama, the crew will meet and exchange professional knowledge with the region’s civil and maritime services. “The U.S. Navy and USSOUTHCOM are committed to this type of lasting partnership,” said Hedberg. “SPS 2010 gives all of us a chance to exchange ideas, mission-focused knowledge and expertise to improve capabilities in key mission areas. This sort of multinational cooperation is vital to successful maritime operations in the future.” Some of the topics to be discussed during the visit are port security, personal security, junior and senior enlisted leadership principles, outboard motor maintenance, maintenance management and small boat operations. The U.S. Marine Corps also has an eight-man mobile training team on board Swift to participate in the exchanges. The team will provide instruction on combat military operations, check-point security, human rights, land navigation, small unit tactics and several other related areas. This is the fourth SPS deployment in the region and the vision is to continue this effort to maintain a persistent presence in the region as a way to further enhance strong relationships. The ship’s crew is operated and navigated by 17 civilian contract mariners working for a private company under charter to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command.