Sailors from USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) "Sammy B" and embarked helicopter detachment, Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 48, arrived in the Port de France Martinique on April 3, for the first port visit of the ship’s Partnership of the Americas (POA) 2007 deployment to South America.
Arriving with the Samuel B. Roberts will be the Chilean Navy Frigate
Almirante Latorre (FFG 14). Latorre will be working side by side with the “Sammy B” throughout this deployment.
In addition to donating a variety of supplies provided through Project Handclasp, many Sailors will have the opportunity to interact with local communities through community relations projects such as minor repairs to schools, hospitals and orphanages.
Many Sailors are excited for this first port visit to Martinique as Samuel B. Roberts begins her deployment.
“After conducting extensive multinational exercises at sea with our new shipmates on CS Latorre, we are eager to visit Martinique for some well deserved liberty," said Cmdr. Marc Weeks, commanding officer of the Samuel B. Roberts. "This will be Sammy B’s first port visit to a French port in several years and we look forward to seeing this beautiful island, engaging with the French armed forces, and showing POA 2007 ships to the citizens of Martinique.”
During POA 2007, the ships will conduct a wide variety of exercises as well as fulfill a myriad of missions including: maritime interoperability, military-to-military cooperation and communication, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, combined training, exercises and operations, intelligence sharing and maritime security assistance within the region to reach common goals.
Samuel B. Roberts and Latorre, as well as USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), USS Mitscher (DDG 57), and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 40, will participate in the exercises as they travel around South America including UNITAS Atlantic and Pacific phases, Teamwork South and PANAMAX.
They are part of a U.S. Navy Task Group, led by Capt. Randy Snyder, Commander COMDESRON 40, under the operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO).
Samuel B. Roberts is homeported in Jacksonville, Fla., at Mayport Naval Station.
By Ensign Christine Campbell, USS Samuel B. Roberts Public Affairs