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Jun 2, 2014

U.S. Navy in Belize for Southern Partnership Station program

Sam Hancock

A United States naval vessel is presently in Belizean waters, where personnel onboard are on a working visit to the Belize.  USNS Spearhead, a Military Sealift Command watercraft, docked at the Port of Big Creek on Sunday morning to commence the Southern Partnership Station program.  The initiative is part of a U.S. Navy deployment aimed at professional discourse with partner nations on a range of military and security issues.  While in Belize, crewmembers will liaise with BDF and Coast Guard counterparts to discuss and assist with matters, including port security, professional development, operational risk management, medical readiness, outboard motor maintenance and patrol craft operations.  Captain Sam Hancock, Mission Commander for the U.S. Navy, spoke about the visit.


Capt. Sam Hancock, Mission Commander, U.S. Navy

“We bring a number of what we call adaptive force packages—the marines, the riverine crews, the medical crews, we have CBs construction engineers. We work closely with the Belize Defense Force, the Belize Coastguard and we do subject matter expert exchanges where we exchange how we do things to help each other learn and work and build our relationships for both of us.”



“So we understand that you’ll be doing work in the Toledo District, south of here?”


Capt. Sam Hancock

“Yeah, we’ll be working in two areas. The main group will be in Punta Gorda; I think it is the first infantry division that the Belize B.D.F., their camp there. We have about almost a hundred folks setting up camp and that’s what we’ve been doing in the past about forty-eight hours. We are almost off the ship now. Majority of it went down to Punta Gorda to that camp and we are establishing a camp on the B.D.F. based. We will be working hand in hand with the B.D.F. forces doing subject matter exchanges; we have our riverine group that will be taking boats down there. The engineers will be doing some constructions and we also have medical folks that will be going out to the local community to help with clinics and provide some assistance where it might be needed.”



“Can you talk to us a little bit about the construction? Where will it be taking place?”


Capt. Sam Hancock

“The construction is primarily going to be….there is a couple of places. Down in Punta Gorda, they will be working on the base at some of the barrack facilities down there. And then additionally…”



“Will they be working on schools, playgrounds or anything like that?”


Capt. Sam Hancock

“There will be some…On the weekends and the off hours, we will be doing community relations where we have a small budget where we could maybe go out and help on some of the playgrounds or enter a school and cleanup. But that is going to be on the off-duty hours, but those are still to be scheduled.”


The duty call will also see personnel in their capacities as goodwill ambassadors, assisting communities in Belize City, Ladyville and Punta Gorda in various community projects.  

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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