This week, for the first time the U.S. Navy will have warships on each side of the African continent as part of Africa Partnership Station’s ongoing teaching mission with African nations.
On Tuesday, the frigate USS Robert G. Bradley is scheduled to pull into the Mozambique port of Maputo on the continent’s east coast, while on the west coast the USS Nashville will visit Dakar, Senegal.
"It’ll be the first time that we will have two APS-designated ships operating on both sides of Africa," said Lt. Patrick Foughty, a spokesman for Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa.
The Navy’s APS started in November 2007 and is an initiative designed to provide security training to participating African nations — helping them learn skills and methods to combat regional problems such as drug smuggling, piracy, illegal fishing and human trafficking.
The Bradley is also to visit the countries of Tanzania and Kenya, the first U.S. ship to operate there under the APS name, but not the first to pull into Eastern African ports under the auspices of nations looking to benefit from skills taught by U.S. sailors. In April, the Navy toured Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion under what then was dubbed the Navy’s 6th Fleet Southeast Africa Task Force — a mission that for all intents and purposes mirrored APS.
While in Senegal, the Nashville will hold seminars and workshops and conduct hands-on training with Senegalese counterparts, including sessions on port security planning, small boat maintenance, medical training and oceanographic methods, Capt. Cindy Thebaud, the APS Nashville commander and commodore of Destroyer Squadron 60, said in a Navy news release.