Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron 4 Completes Deployment to Guatemala

Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron (NCWS) 4 completed a six-week deployment to Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, on March 4. The mission focused on providing landward and seaward security for three high value assets (HVA) and more than 1,300 Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen participating in Humanitarian Support Over the Shore 2007 (HSOTS-2007). Exercise HSOTS 2007 simulated a disaster relief assistance response to Puerto Quetzal that involved off-loading and transporting equipment to Joint Task Force (JTF) Belize and JTF Guatemala. More than 400 pieces of humanitarian assistance equipment were brought ashore and trucked to various locations throughout the region. The equipment will be used in the rural areas of Belize and Guatemala where schools and clinics will be built.

NCWS 4 deployed with eight 34-foot patrol boats, landward security teams, a communications surveillance suite and numerous support equipment. While on station NCWS 4 provided 24-hour harbor/seaward security operations, landward security teams and fully functional C4I capabilities. Additionally NCWS 4 organized and coordinated security for a distinguished visitor/media day during which the Guatemalan minister of defense and various other high ranking Guatemalan officials came to observe beach operations, naval lighterage systems and NCWS 4 patrol boat operations. “NCW[S] has evolved into an indispensable force,” said Capt. Thomas S. Wetherald, commander Navy Beach Group 1, commander of HSOTS. More than 150 NCWS 4 service members participated in delivering more than three tons of “Project Handclasp” food, toys, medical supplies and educational materials collected from communities in the United States to give to clinics, schools, and orphanages in Guatemala.

NCWS participated in numerous community relations sites including roof repairs, electrical work, plumbing and building a chicken pen for an orphanage to produce their own eggs for consumption. “This has truly been an eye opening event for many of our junior Sailors, something they will cherish the rest of their lives,” said Senior Chief Electronics Technician Scott Kelley, of NCWS 4. “We really appreciate all of the hard work and commitment to our orphanage,” said Maria Elena Uribe, director of Casa San Jose, an HIV hospice. Approximately 1,300 U.S. service men and women, representing the Navy, Army, National Guard and Reserve forces are participated in HSOTS. Specific units include Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron 4, Naval Beach Group 1, Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, Assault Craft Unit 1 and 348th Army Battalion. Military Sealift Command ships included USNS Soderman (T-AKR 317), SS Flickertail State (T-ACS 5) and SS Cape Mohican (T-AKR 5065).

NCWS 4 is a component of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), the global force provider of adaptive force packages of Navy expeditionary capabilities to joint warfighting commanders. NECC serves as a single functional command to centrally manage the current and future readiness, resources, manning, training, and equipping of the Navy Expeditionary Force, that includes Explosive Ordnance Disposal; Naval Coastal Warfare; Riverine; Combat Camera Atlantic; the Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center; Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support functions; the Maritime Civil Affairs Group and the Seabees.

By Lt. Kenneth Lester, Commander, Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron 4 Public Affairs

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