USS SOMERSET of the United States and BAP Pisco of Peru will carry out joint simulation exercises for rapid response to natural disasters

PUGET SOUND, Wash. (July 31, 2018) Sailors man the rails onboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) as it sails in the Parade of Ships as part of Seattle's Seafair Fleet Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang/Released)

The United States Navy’s USS Somerset (LPD 25) multipurpose vessel will arrive at the port of Callao to participate in joint exercises to simulate a rapid response to natural disasters, in conjunction with the Peruvian Navy’s recently incorporated multipurpose vessel BAP Pisco (AMP-156).  The joint amphibious landing will take place on the Costa Verde.

Approximately 300 U.S. Marines and sailors from the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Peru (SPMAGTF-Peru) will arrive aboard the U.S. vessel to form a task force with Peruvian naval personnel (Reinforced Rapid Disaster Response Company – CIR) and participate in humanitarian assistance and disaster-response training exercises.

The operational deployment will take place at Agua Dulce Beach on November 24, in Chorrillos, a strategic point in case of possible earthquakes and tsunamis, where different task lines will organize water purification, pitch medical tents, simulate debris removal and attention to individuals affected by a disaster as well as other activities, within a defined response time.

Helicopters, Zodiac boats, landing craft, and amphibious vehicles will be deployed in conjunction with surface vessels from both navies.

In addition to strengthening the relationship between institutions, this exercise seeks to improve interoperability, preparedness, and response capacity in the event of humanitarian crises or natural disasters.

This exercise, dubbed “Primus,” is part of a series of activities of cooperation carried out over the years between friendly nations associated with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training.  An example of this is the recent visit of the U.S. hospital ship USNS Comfort that provided medical attention for five days in the port of Paita.

Since 2006, the United States Department of Defense Southern Command has invested more than $44 million in 277 projects in Peru through its Humanitarian Assistance Program, focused on prevention and emergency management.  These projects include the construction of Regional Emergency Operations Centers (COER) in 15 regions of Peru, including Piura Region.  Four large-scale complexes for humanitarian assistance and disaster response are currently under construction.