The High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) and USS Nicholas (FFG 47) arrived in Port Est, Reunion, for a three-day regularly scheduled port visit while operating in the Indian Ocean.
The stop will allow both ships to work with the French military, pick up supplies and provide personnel with an opportunity for some liberty before they continue with their mission in support of Africa Partnership Station (APS) East.
“Our stop in Reunion will allow us to regroup for the remainder of our APS mission, which is an international initiative aimed at improving maritime safety and security in Africa,” said Captain James E. Tranoris, commodore of APS East.
“The APS mission has already taken us to Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique. Following our stop in Reunion, we’ll continue with visits to Mauritus, Seychelles, Comoros, and Kenya. Any opportunity to partner and conduct international exchanges is valuable to our sailors and the US Navy, which is why we are looking forward to the prospect for training with the French military here in Reunion.”
Military-to-military exchanges are not the only interactions happening in Reunion this week. Members of the US Naval Forces Europe Band, “Top Brass,” will hold a concert at the University of Reunion (Saint-Denis). The performance will feature traditional American jazz and New Orleans style brass band music.
“We are excited every time we get to play a show for a new group of people,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Vincent Moody. “Each country we visit provides us a great opportunity to meet new people and to entertain them with our music.”
The visit will also allow crewmembers from both ships a chance for some relaxation and liberty time to venture out and enjoy the island.
“While we’re in Reunion, I plan on going out to do some shopping and also trying out some of the local foods,” said Seaman Robert Burgett.
APS is an international initiative in support of Naval Forces Africa, the maritime component of US Africa Command (AFRICOM), which aims to unite international partners to enhance maritime safety and security throughout the African continent.
Swift and Nicholas, both home ported in Norfolk, Va., are on regular scheduled deployments within the US 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
Pic: USS Nicolas