PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago –
The Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Burlington (T-EPF-10) and the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard conducted a maritime interdiction exercise, Sept. 15, following a three-day port visit to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
During the exercise, Burlington and Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard patrol ships TTS Carli Bay (CG 28) and TTS Scarborough (CG 42) practiced a series of tactical shipboard movements, formations, and vectoring, ultimately leading to being able to find, track and intercept a simulated drug smuggling vessel.
The training included a liaison officer (LNO) exchange, which improves interoperability and strengthens partnerships between the two forces.
While in port, Burlington hosted the U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Shante Moore and the Minister of National Security, the Honorable Fitzgerald Hinds M.P. The engagement included a tour of the ship, discussing its capabilities, and the mission in U.S. 4th Fleet.
Sailors from Burlington’s military detachment conducted subject matter expert exchanges with the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard and Special Navy Unit. These exchanges included small arms training and exchanging best preventative maintenance and medical practices.
Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Nadia Francis is a Trinbagonian American currently assigned to Burlington. It was her first time returning to the country in 25 years, since she immigrated to the U.S. in 1996.
“When I went to the flight deck that morning and saw the beautiful sight of the country where I came from, the only emotions that came over me were happiness and excitement. I said to myself, ‘thank you almighty, I finally made it here,’” said Francis.
Burlington is deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations to support expeditionary maintenance to deployed littoral combat ships operating in the region.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command’s joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American region.