Posted by: APO | 2 April 2008

Sénégal / USA / Africa Partnership Station Returns to Senegal

2 April 2008


Africa Partnership Station Returns to Senegal


By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class(AW/SW) RJ Stratchko,

Africa Partnership Station Public Affairs


DAKAR, Senegal – Africa Partnership Station (APS) arrived at the 15th port of its seven-month deployment, aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) here, April 2. APS’ first visit to this port was in November 2007 at the beginning of Fort McHenry’s deployment.

APS is an international effort aiming to enhance regional and maritime safety and security in West and Central Africa. APS includes African, European and American Sailors working towards a common goal, partnership in maritime safety and security.

With APS, training in specific areas is requested by the partner countries, and is provided by trainers from the multi-national APS staff.

“There are a lot of courses the Senegalese Navy have requested from APS. There will be more than 100 students on board this time which shows what we brought last time is important to them,” said Lt. Cmdr. Clement Fru Fon, Cameroonian Navy, APS Staff Officer and Ship Rider Coordinator. “With the training that is provided, they will be able to compare the way they do things and make improvements as needed.”

Although the Navy has conducted training during routine deployments in West Africa for years, the size and focus of the APS mission is new and different.

“I have seen the amount of knowledge that has been given to the African Navies. I have seen the amount of humanitarian assistance that was donated to the local communities; I must say Africans are happy. They are happy about it because after our first visit, the countries ask for more training and it shows that they like it,” said Fru Fon. “The Senegalese Navy will be able to use this training to better secure their waters and the safer the Gulf of Guinea is, the safer the world will be.”

In addition to training, APS is scheduled to be performing community relations (COMREL) projects to try and build partnerships with the local community.

“We have set up a community relation project with Empire of the Children Shelter that cares for runaway children. We are taking 20 Sailors and Seabees to paint, fix desks and some roof work,” said Lt. Paul Wigginton, Chaplain for Fort McHenry and the APS COMREL coordinator.

    APS seeks to take partnerships into action in a concerted interagency and multinational effort to promote maritime governance around Africa. APS is inspired by the belief that effective maritime safety and security will contribute to development, economic prosperity, and security ashore.

“This is the first APS deployment and it is good for Africa, because if this is the first and the last then we have wasted our time, but I am very sure that there will be many APS deployments in the future and Africa is ready for that,” said Fru Fon.

Part of the U.S. Navy’s Global Fleet Station, APS provides a platform with the capacity and persistent presence to support sustained, focused training and collaboration on a regional scale to maritime partners in West and Central Africa. Commander Task Force 365 and training teams from various U.S. and European military commands, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations are embarked on board Fort McHenry to enhance cooperative partnerships.


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