U.S. Navy to conduct Subject Matter Expert Exchanges with T&T Coast Guard

USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) will dock in Port of Spain from Aug. 8 to Aug. 11 in support of U.S. 4th Fleet’s two concurrent deployments, Southern Seas and Southern Partnership Station.  

The ship was deployed by the U.S. Navy last month to the Caribbean, Central and South America to conduct subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE), key leader engagements (KLE) and serve as the 2018 flagship for one of the largest annual maritime training exercises in the world, UNITAS.

U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John McIntyre noted, “The SMEE is a demonstration of the continued, steadfast partnership between the U.S. and Trinidad and Tobago, which is characterized by trust and respect and based on our shared democratic values.”

Southern Partnership Station subject matter expert exchanges with the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard will take place Aug. 9 to Aug. 22 to include diving and medical care exercises designed to enhance coordination in regional maritime activities and improve the operational readiness and interoperability of participants.

Southern Partnership Station is an annual deployment focused on exchanges with regional partner nation militaries and security forces. This year’s deployment will visit Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Honduras, Panama and El Salvador to work alongside those nations’ military forces, security forces, civilian health professionals and other governmental agencies.

In addition to SMEEs and KLEs, for the first time in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility, the Southern Seas deployment has integrated a multinational staff as part of continued efforts to improve regional response to natural disasters and security threats.