Carrying an international staff from six countries, High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) arrived in Port Victoria, Seychelles, followed by its sister platform the frigate USS Nicholas (FFG 47) that arrived March 1, to conduct maritime security training and cultural exchanges as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) East.
APS East is a cooperative initiative which aims to unite international partners to enhance maritime safety and security throughout the African continent.
Swift and Nicholas bring with them teams of maritime experts who provide training and engage in exercises with the maritime professionals of the APS partner nations. While in Seychelles, instruction will include visit, board, search and seizure procedures; combat lifesaver first aid; and firefighting and damage control measures.
“We are thrilled to arrive on this beautiful island in the Seychelles and look forward to training with the Seychellois Coast Guard, which will ultimately help all of us strengthen maritime safety and security in the region,” said Captain James Tranoris, commander of APS East.
APS East has been conducting missions along the east coast of Africa for several 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, Brazil and the United States, work directly with the commander 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.
After completing training in Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Mauritius, the port visit to Seychelles marks the final APS East training port for the 2010 mission and presents a bittersweet time for its staff.
“While we look forward to returning to our families and completing the mission,” said Brazilian officer Lieutenant Commander Mauro Lima. “We have a lot of good momentum behind building international relationships and having a positive impact on maritime concerns in this region of the world.”
Swift and Nicholas are on regular scheduled deployments within the US 6th Fleet area of responsibility. APS East is being conducted in cooperation with and in support of US Naval Forces Africa and US Africa Command (AFRICOM).
Pic: HSV 2
Sources: www.africom.mil and Africa Partnership Station East Public Affairs