VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — For a new numbered fleet without its own ships, 4th Fleet, based in Mayport, Fla., is off to a fast start.
The command, which stood up nine months ago with an area of operations off central and South America, will play host to several upcoming multinational exercises, according to Capt. Alfred Collins, fleet chief of staff, who spoke at an expo on naval expeditionary forces here Wednesday.
From April through July, the hospital ship Comfort will cruise throughout the area, stopping in Haiti, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and elsewhere to provide medical aid to populations in need. Military medical personnel and several nongovernmental organizations will embark for the revolving mission known as Continuing Promise.
“We think missions like this will continue,” he said. “We’ve come pretty close to institutionalizing these missions.”
The amphibious assault ship Nassau will take part in several multinational exercises, as will frigates Kauffman, Doyle and Ford.
“We at [4th Fleet/Naval Forces Southern Command] will have operational control of it,” he said.
The high speed vessel Swift, Nassau and the dock landing ship Oak Hill will also take part in Southern Partnership Station, a “soft power” mission also replicated off the coast of Africa and in the Pacific.
And from April 21 to May 7, ships from the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group and naval participants from 12 nations will train up in UNITAS Gold off Jacksonville, Fla., Collins said. A decommissioned Spuance-class destroyer will be used for target practice and sunk during the exercise.
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