Marine Corps Reserve Lance Cpl. Brad J. Kovizh, son of Julie Echtinaw of Lowell, and Mike Kovizh of Rockford, and fellow marines of the 24th Marine Regiment, Kansas City, Mo., recently participated in this year’s Partnership of the Americas (POA) exercise at Naval Station Mayport and Camp Blanding, Fla. U.S. Marines, partner nation marines from countries throughout Central and South America to include Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Mexico and Peru as well as Canadian soldiers participated alongside each other in order to promote maritime security. UNITAS Gold and POA were conducted simultaneously this year to showcase more than 25 ships, four submarines, 50 rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, 650 marines and 6, 500 sailors. POA is an annual U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South multi-national joint exercise that focuses on enhancing interoperability between U.S. Marines and partner nation marines in amphibious operations, non-combatant evacuation operations, peacekeeping and disaster relief. Kovizh joined the Marine Corps Reserve in August 2008.