Cameroon and U.S. maritime forces completed Africa Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP) operations on 12 March.
USNS Spearhead (T-EPF 1) and an embarked multinational law enforcement team, working with Cameroon Navy Ships Ntem (108) and Sanaga (109), conducted the first ever at-sea customs and fisheries boardings supported by Cameroon Navy. The Cameroon Navy vessels patrolled the entirety of the Cameroon Exclusive Economic Zone for 12 days while conducting at-sea law enforcement operations.
In the first AMLEP with Cameroon, U.S. maritime forces worked and trained with 17 Cameroon Navy personnel, two Gabonese Navy officers, six Cameroon customs officers, and seven Cameroon fisheries officers.
Utilizing Spearhead’s onboard sensors, Sea Vision and the Multi-national Coordination Center for maritime domain awareness, the Cameroon Navy with support of USNS Spearhead and embarked United States Coast Guard law enforcement detachment , intercepted and boarded three commercial fishing vessels and one cargo ship. The joint boarding teams identified five fisheries and one immigration violation during the at-sea law enforcement operation.
“Working in support of our Cameroonian partners throughout this AMLEP operation has been phenomenal. The operational successes speak to their professionalism, capability , and ability to enforce maritime security through interagency and intergovernmental coordination. It was an honor and privilege to work alongside these professionals,” said Commander Tim Ferracci, mission commander, Africa Partnership Station 2016.
This was the first AMLEP with Cameroon, first joint patrol onboard Cameroon Navy vessels for both Cameroon customs and fisheries officers and the first at-sea boarding of a fishing vessel by Cameroon law enforcement officers and the first at-sea fishing vessel boarding from a Naval vessel. The joint boarding teams from Ntem, Sanaga, and USNS Spearhead conducted four law enforcement boardings which resulted in six violations of Cameroon’s laws.
AMLEP is a U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet facilitated theater security cooperation initiative that aims to build African partner nation capacity to patrol and enforce maritime law within that nation’s territorial waters and economic exclusive zone.