USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) pulled into Port Gentil, Gabon, to conduct a series of military-to-military interactions, theatre security cooperation engagements, and community relations projects.
While in-port, crew members of the ship, along with US Ambassador to Gabon Eunice Reddick, will host tours and a reception, and participate in meetings designed to further the maritime relationship between the US and Gabonese navies.
Commander Chuck Sellers, commanding officer of the ship will meet with several high-level leaders of Gabon’s government and military.
“It is a pleasure to operate with the Gabon naval professionals,” said Sellers. “We look forward to training with them and enjoying some fun soccer and basketball also.”
Samuel B. Roberts will be providing military-to-military training in visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS); basic navigation; communications equipment; contact tracking with Automatic Information System (AIS) technology; and small boat maintenance.
Simultaneously, many sailors will participate in community relations projects aiding two United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) homes, the Centre Esperance et Mission d’Insertion, and the Centre Nissi. They will assist the facilities in basic construction repairs and deliver donated Project Handclasp supplies of hygiene and recreational items.
Members from the crew will also participate in group soccer and basketball games with local Gabonese teams as part of several planned team-building events, and afterward will donate additional Project Handclasp supplies of soccer balls and jerseys.
Samuel B. Roberts, a guided-missile Oliver Hazard Perry Class-frigate is homeported in Mayport, Florida, and is currently on a scheduled deployment in the US 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
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: USS SamueL B Roberts (FFG 8) ship
Sources: www.africom.mil and Africa Partnership Station