U.S. Naval Ship the Grasp Conducts Training Exercises in Barbados and with RSS Divers from the OECS Nations

The U.S. Navy is deploying Military Sealift Command rescue and salvage ship USNS Grasp, along with Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) Two, to the Caribbean to conduct Navy Diver- Southern Partnership Station (ND-SPS) 2010.

Between May 21 and June 22, 2010 Grasp and MDSU will work in Barbados, Antigua, and the Commonwealth of Dominica conducting dive operations with Regional Security System (RSS) divers from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, the Commonwealth of Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

ND-SPS 2010 is a U.S. Southern Command directed engagement between U.S. and partner nations designed to improve interoperability and partner nation capacity through cooperative diving operations. “The United States, Latin America and Caribbean island nations share common interests, and multinational engagements like ND-SPS foster friendly, mutual cooperation and understanding” stated Lieutenant Commander Tim McAllister, ND-SPS 2010 Mission Commander.

The most important aspect of this mission is force protection,” said Chief Warrant Officer Two Guy Inzunza, Company 2-6 Officer in Charge. Inzunza went on to state that increasing port security capabilities is one of the ways in which other nations can increase their force protection. To accomplish this task, MDSU will concentrate on sharing mission-focused skill sets and capabilities necessary to enhance security and salvage operations. This includes using international shipping and port security codes to proficiently and accurately conduct visual inspections of both piers and vessels.

Inzunza went on to say that aside from the technical knowledge gained from this engagement, he and his team are looking forward to the opportunity to experience the rich culture of their host nations and to serve as goodwill ambassadors throughout the deployment.

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