Peruvian Submarine Arrives in San Diego for Training Partnership

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Peruvian submarine BAP Arica (SS-36) arrived in San Diego April 30 to participate in the Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI) training program alongside the U.S. Navy.

DESI is a three-month partnership that allows the U.S. and partner navies to work together to train and test underwater warfare capabilities through engagement tactics, weapon system tests and close-encounter operations. The partnership also assists in the development of a stronger Navy and setting historical milestones with the United States and countries like Peru. Other participating DESI partners include Colombia, Chile and Brazil.

"We have one of the oldest submarine navies between the two continents [North and South America]," said Cmdr. Manuel Rivadeneira, Arica's commanding officer.

"Now there are many improvements in submarine warfare, so we have the opportunity to train with the U.S., who has the latest improvements in submarine warfare. It helps us, and it also helps the U.S. because they don't always have the opportunity to train with other countries like us [Peru]."

This is the third time the Peruvian submarine has participated in DESI, but it is the first time Arica has visited San Diego and partnered with Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, to conduct operations off the west coast.

"The DESI program objectives help us establish a solid framework for a continued excellent operational training relationship between Third Fleet, the Peruvian submarine force and Submarine Squadron 11," said Cmdr. John Doney, U.S. 3rd Fleet training staff.

"Partnership continues a history of us working with a very lethal capability in looking for the very quiet diesel electrics, which are a huge threat to any navy," said Capt. Neil May, assistant chief of staff, training and readiness, Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. "It's going to be a very productive several months."

While in San Diego, Peruvian sailors and officers will stay with their U.S. counterparts in bachelor enlisted and officer quarters. They will also have the opportunity to explore the San Diego area and spend time with U.S. Sailors during several social events scheduled in their honor.