Sailors from Patrol Squadron (VP) 5, along with VP-8 and Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11, had the privilege of joining the crew from the Peruvian submarine, Bap Arica (SS-36), for a tour of their vessel Sept. 28. The submarine participated in last month’s Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative Exercise (DESI-EX), in cooperation with VP-5, VP-8, VP-16, and VP-26 off of the east coast of the United States.

DESI-EX is an annual training exercise that allows the U.S. and South American nations to build Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) proficiency. It allows Maritime Patrol Squadrons the ability to refine their training and build coordination with additional ASW aircraft. The exercise is beneficial for both sides and promotes interoperability with allied nations.

Lt. j.g. Ken Etheridge, AWO2 Adrian Mack, and AWO2 Erik Anderson were the distinguished Mad Fox visitors for the day on the Peruvian diesel-electric submarine. “Visiting the Bap Arica was a great opportunity,” stated Anderson.

“As an acoustic operator, the visit helped me gain a greater understanding of this class of submarine, and as a representative of the U.S. Navy, it was great meeting and strengthening relations with our Peruvian friends. Events like these, where you get to experience other cultures and build relations, are one of the best parts of serving.”

The Peruvian crew greeted the guests upon their arrival to Naval Station Mayport where the vessel was moored, an extensive tour of the sub was offered, and shortly thereafter the visitors enjoyed a spread of traditional Peruvian fare. At the conclusion of this event, each command in attendance was presented a plaque from their host.

“The visit with the Peruvian crew was exciting and culturally beneficial,” Etheridge said. The Peruvian crew could not have been more kind and hospitable providing us with a traditional Peruvian meal. It was very interesting seeing the other side of things, in the submaine’s perspective and how their working environment differs from our own. Overall, the visit was amazing.”