OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER NORFOLK
Lt. David Ferreira returned recently from a nearly three-month temporary assignment to South America, where he provided logistics support for Southern Partnership Station, a multi-national bilateral exercise sponsored by the United States Southern Command and 4th Fleet.
Southern Partnership Station is an annual series of U.S. Navy deployments focused on exchanges with regional partner nation militaries and security forces. The bilateral exercise is used to train forces of the Honduran, Guatemalan, and Chilean navies.
During his time deployed, Ferreira served as the sole supply officer for the entire exercise. He managed two expeditionary support contracts worth 1.5 million dollars and coordinated and ensured the delivery of all services and materiel for the mission.
“Everything from port-o-potties to parts, fuel and water,” said Ferreira.
He added that in addition to training with the South American navies, he also took part in community relations projects, including working with Marine Corps water technicians on project where they practiced their craft by fixing a community swimming pool and digging wells in Honduras and Guatemala that provided water to tens of thousands of people.
“In Honduras, I managed to field requests from and donated building material to several villages,” he said. “Several days later I heard that those villages held dedication ceremonies because the materials were extremely impactful. I couldn’t believe the impact that simple things like concrete and steel pipe could have.”
Ferreira said the assignment was very meaningful for him both personally and professionally, including honing skills that he can use at NAVSUP FLC Norfolk.
“Operating independently and with very few resources forced me to be fairly creative,” he explained. “A lot of the expeditionary knowledge I gained should help out with standing the Regional Operations Center watch in a time of crisis too.”
He also took the time to experience the culture in both Guatemala and Honduras, enjoying the natural beauty in the jungle in Guatemala and Trujillo Bay in Honduras. He also became very familiar with the local cuisine. “At first, I was pretty nervous about eating the food, but by the 3rd week, I was eating local fish and it was amazing,” he added. “The food in Honduras and Guatemala is delicious.” He said he was immersed in both the local culture and the Spanish language spoken in South America. “I think I went from about 4th grade Spanish to 8th grade Spanish by the time I left,” he joked.
From lessons learned in being resourceful on the job, to learning about the way of life for Guatemalans and Hondurans, Ferreira said his experience in the Southern Partnership station was very gratifying.