Caribbean countries concerned over U.S. military exercises.

More than 6,500 Sailors with the USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group left Hampton Roads Tuesday.

Under the Navy's Fleet Response Plan, ships have to be ready to deploy on short notice.

The USS George Washington Strike Group will put the plan to the test, and head to the Caribbean to participate in the "Partnership of the Americas."

Two other Norfolk based ships will also participate in the exercise. They include the guided missile cruiser, USS Monterey, and guided missile destroyer, USS Stout.

The three ships will meet up with the Mayport, Florida based ship the USS Underwood that is already deployed.

This exercise is designed to strengthen ties with US allies in Latin America and the Caribbean.

[Source: Dominican Today, Washington, 11apr06]

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