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HSV 2 SWIFT Begins Three-Week Mission to Build Partnerships with Haitian Authorities near Cap Haitien

February 17, 2012
High Speed Vessel (HSV 2) Swift (Photo: State Dept)

High Speed Vessel (HSV 2) Swift

Cap-Haitien, Haiti – In collaboration with Haitian authorities, the High Speed Vessel (HSV 2) Swift arrived in Cap-Haitien, Haiti on February 15, 2012, as part of U.S. Southern Command’s Southern Partnership Station 2012 (SPS 12).  Haiti is the final stop for the Swift, which has already visited the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, and Panama during this mission. 

On February 16, 2012, the HSV 2 SWIFT also offloaded a $4 million dollars of Project Handclasp humanitarian and medical supplies to be distributed to NGOs and other medical and school institutions in Mirebalais and Cap-Haitien.  Project Handclasp is a U.S. Navy program that transports educational, humanitarian and goodwill materials donated by America’s private sector aboard Navy ships for distribution to foreign nation recipients.

Garry Wright, HSV-SPS 12 mission commander, said “There are so many pieces that go into making this program a success, that it really highlights the successful coordination and partnership already happening here.”

The 90-member crew aboard the Swift includes experts in construction, port operations, medicine, and security and they will work with their Haitian peers during their three-week visit to renovate a school and the local dispensary to benefit the 14,000 residents of Caracol; train Haitian National Police and Coast Guard agents; and dialogue with Haitian Ministry of Public Health specialists on veterinary and public health issues.

The Swift’s visit is part of the ongoing U.S. commitment to Haiti and to the Haitian government and responds to Haitian priorities in health and security.  The area around Cap Haitien is a priority development corridor for U.S. assistance, and includes the Caracol Industrial Park, which is expected to create at least 20,000 jobs.