Africa Partnership Station (APS) East arrived in Mombasa, Kenya, ealier this week, aboard APS platforms High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) and USS Nicholas (FFG 47). Both Swift and Nicholas are in Kenya to participate in maritime exchanges.
“It is a real pleasure for me to be back in Mombasa on another APS deployment.
Working closely with the Kenyan Navy is a wonderful experience,” said Captain James Tranoris, commander, APS East. “Their sailors are always eager to train with us, and their navy leadership is committed to strengthening maritime partnerships and improving maritime safety and security in the region. That commitment is exemplified by the Kenya Navy’s participation in APS, to include two officers assigned to the APS international staff…and 10 Kenyan ship riders training onboard USS Nicholas throughout this deployment in East Africa.”
Swift and Nicholas will visit the following ports in succession: Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Mauritius, Seychelles and Comoros during this deployment.
The ships bring with them teams of maritime experts from the US Navy and US Marine Corps and will provide training and participate in exercises with their African counterparts. Combat lifesaving; damage control; law of war; visit, board, search and seizure; small boat operations/maintenance and physical security are a few of the topics to be covered onboard.
“The training that the Kenyan Navy is receiving is very important and will help increase the maritime skills of our sailors,” said Kenya Navy Major Eliud Keter, the APS operations officer and senior Kenya military officer on the APS international staff.
“Together, Kenya and APS make a good maritime team. No one country can do this alone. We must stand together in order to fight maritime injustice.”
During these visits, Swift and Nicholas will also embark 19 African ship riders from Kenya and Tanzania to conduct at-sea, professional exchanges on damage control, engineering, medical procedures, navigation and watch-standing.
Swift will also be taking part in the delivery of over 80 000 pounds of relief supplies that will be donated to those in need within Somalia. The supplies were donated through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, organized by Nour International Relief Aid through Project Handclasp, and received and transported by the US Navy and United Nations Support Office for the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). Medical and school supplies, clothing and blankets are some of the items being donated and transported to Somalia.
This is the first APS East mission involving an international staff and two APS platforms executing the mission. The international staff consists of members from Brazil, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania and the United States.
Swift and Nicholas are on regularly scheduled deployments within the US 6th Fleet area of responsibility. APS East is being conducted in cooperation with Commander, US Naval Forces Africa.
APS is an international initiative developed by US Naval Forces Europe-US Naval Forces Africa, which supports US Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) mission by working cooperatively with US and international partners to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.
Pic: High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2)
Sources: www.africom.mil and Africa Partnership Station East