“For many reasons, this is a special visit,” said Royal Dutch Navy Captain Ben Bekkering, commanding officer of Johan De Witt.
Planned maritime safety and security training will consist of classroom interaction and hands-on skill-building. Topics to be covered include small boat maintenance, small boat operations, maritime law enforcement, computer software lessons and advanced first aid training.
In addition to maritime safety and security engagements, the APS Johan De Witt crew will conduct community outreach projects on both days. The projects include the donation of medical and relief supplies to the Tunguma and Lungi hospitals as well as helping these hospitals fix and maintain generators, electrical systems and other equipment.
The APS Johan DeWitt deployment began in September and will run through November. Port visits include stops in Cape Verde, Ghana, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
Johan De Witt, a Royal Dutch Naval vessel, is the first European-led APS platform and is augmented by staff from Belgium, Portugal and the United States. APS, originally a US Navy initiative, is now an international effort aimed at improving maritime safety and security for the continent of Africa through training and other collaborative activities with African partner countries.
Pic: Johan De Wit ship