Leaders from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and the U.S. 6th Fleet and the Libyan navy and coast guard, met to discuss maritime security in Naples, Italy, April 3-4.
During the visit, the Libyans and U.S. personnel exchanged information on maritime domain awareness (MDA), discussed strategies and cooperation between the two navies, and toured the 6th Fleet Maritime Operations Center, US Africa Command reports.
The conference was in response to a request by the Libya military for assistance in building their maritime capabilities since a new government was installed in July 2012.
“Our hope is to improve and develop good relations with the U.S.,” said Libyan navy Capt. Mohamed Abdurahim Beshte. “Through this conference, we have achieved some of our goals, including learning about and understanding the MDA systems. Ultimately, we can use this information to make a better decision for Libya.”
Both sides agreed the conference was a success and a good first step in ongoing discussions between the U.S. and Libyan maritime forces.
“What we’re trying to achieve through these talks is a partnership in maritime security where transparency and interoperability allow us to work more closely with our Libyan allies,” said Cmdr. Marc Scotchlas, North Africa Regional Engagement Team leader. “We’ve made more progress in the last 48 hours than I could have expected.”
The conference was another stepping stone in what both parties hope becomes a partnership that includes integrated operations and training.
“I want to express my appreciation to the U.S. government and the U.S. Navy [for hosting the maritime security conference],” said Capt. Beshte.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts a full range of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation missions in concert with coalition, joint, interagency, and other parties in order to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa.