High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) and USS Nicholas (FFG 47) arrived in Port Louis, to conduct military-to-military training and cultural exchanges as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) East.
The five-day port visit will allow US sailors and embarked staff members from Brazil, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique and Tanzania to engage with Mauritius military members while fostering relationships and trust.
“APS gives everyone involved numerous opportunities to build friendships and get to know one another,” said Mauritian Major Vikraj Mangroo, the ship rider coordination officer aboard Swift.
Mauritian maritime professionals will receive seminars and hands-on experience in areas of basic firefighting and damage control, visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS), force protection measures, search and rescue procedures and compliant/non-compliant boarding.
“This program has been developed at the request of our African partners and we execute it alongside an embarked team of officers from several different countries,” said Captain James Tranoris, commodore of APS. “This should send a clear message: the responsibility of maritime safety and security is truly an international effort and can only be achieved through building partnerships.”
Aside from shipboard training, crewmembers from both naval ships will have a chance to lend a helping hand in the community by participating in a community relations project and a mil-to-mil basketball game during the visit.
APS is a cooperative initiative in support of Naval Forces Africa which aims to unite international partners to enhance maritime safety and security throughout the African continent.
APS East has been conducting missions along the east coast of Africa for a few years; however, APS East 2010 marks the first year that the mission includes an international staff of partnering-nations.
Staff officers aboard the HSV-2 Swift from Kenya, Mozambique, Mauritius, Tanzania, and Brazil and the US, work directly with the commodore to plan and execute the APS East mission, offering a deeper level of experience and exchange of ideas about maritime safety and security in Africa.
Swift and Nicholas are on regular scheduled deployments within the US 6th Fleet area of responsibility. APS East is being conducted in cooperation with Commander, US Naval Forces Africa and US Africa Command (AFRICOM).
Pic: HSV 2
Sources: www.africom.mil and Africa Partnership Station East Public Affairs