Members of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Senegalese Marines, Senegalese Navy, and Cabo Verde Coast Guard came together for a debriefing conference concluding Operation Junction Rain (OJR), the operational phase of the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP), on 15 September.
During this phase, U.S. Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team 406, based in Miami, Florida, acted in an accompany, advise and assist role to the Senegalese law enforcement and Cabo Verde Coast Guard boarding teams as both countries conducted real-world boarding operations.
These boardings consisted of identifying targets of interest, employing small boats with teams aboard, then embarking the vessel to investigate. During this inspection, the three countries worked together to review documentation, detect illicit activity and enforce maritime law pertaining to the respective coastal nation’s authorities and jurisdiction, the US Navy said.
During the operation, U.S., Senegalese, and Cabo Verde teams performed 22 boardings, providing a more secure maritime environment for African partner nations.
In addition to conducting boardings, the three countries exchanged best practices across a broad spectrum of maritime operations including water safety and at-sea vessel boarding, inspection, and search procedures.
“OJR [Operation Junction Rain] was an immensely beneficial operation for all countries involved. It was a pleasure to be a part of the first trilateral operation between Senegal, Cabo Verde, and the United States. I’m proud of the way our team integrated with the various different agencies that comprised the Senegal and Cabo Verde boarding teams, it was an honor to work alongside and learn from our maritime enforcement counterparts,” said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Dillon Torno, officer in charge, U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Det. 406.
OJR is the operational phase of United Stated African Command’s African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP). The AMLEP program enables African partner nations to build maritime security capacity and improve management of their maritime environment through real world combined maritime law enforcement operations. AMLEP is a parallel program of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) initiative focusing on building African Partner Nations’ maritime domain awareness.
AMLEP pairs a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachmentwith partner nation maritime forces and interagency personnel to execute combined law enforcement operations. The boarding teams operate from partner nation vessels to reinforce the rule of law in the maritime areas of the African partner nation by identifying suspect vessels and detecting and combatting illicit and criminal activities, the US Navy said.