The multipurpose amphibious assault ship Wasp took off in late September on a monthlong deployment to South America as part of a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force carrying Marines and sailors and representatives from Central and South American nations.
The Wasp will have a total force of roughly 1,430 troops, including 70 American Marines originating from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, according to the Marine Corps.
Joining the American forces aboard the amphibious assault ship are five officers from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and El Salvador, said Capt. Joshua Hays, a spokesman for the 13th MEU.
“The breadth of experience our partners bring to the table has been insightful- such as Colombia and Brazil’s experience in riverine operations,” said Marine Col. Andrew Priddy, commander of the SPMAGTF in an email.
It’s not common for Marines to deploy to South America aboard amphib ships
The commander added that the multinational force plans to train on responses on humanitarian assistance and disaster response missions.
“The focus of SPMAGTF-WASP planning events were centered around humanitarian assistance and disaster relief with our partners to help forge lasting relationships based on trust, mutual understanding, and a shared desire for regional stability,” Priddy said.
“Disasters can happen anywhere, and our ability to respond quickly relies on an integrated Navy and Marine Corps team standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our partner nations,” he added.