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A sailor assigned to Naval Station Rota, Spain, is one of five candidates who will vie this spring to be the top sailor of Navy Installations Command, a Navy official said.

Petty Officer 1st Class John Hughes, the sole full-time Navy career counselor stationed in Rota, already has been selected as the Navy Region Europe Sailor of the Year.

The winner of the NIC competition advances to the Chief of Naval Operations Shore Command competition, the winner of which is meritoriously promoted to chief petty officer.

USS Kauffman finishes port visit in GabonThe frigate USS Kauffman recently completed a four-day port visit in Port Gentil, Gabon, as part of Naval Forces Europe-U.S. 6th Fleet’s long-term mission to bolster maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, according to a Navy news release.

Kauffman sailors worked with Gabonese sailors to teach them damage-control skills and provided first-aid training.

They also participated in community relations projects, included painting the exterior walls of a local school and a down-to-the-wire basketball game with locals. The ship left Gabon on Wednesday.

For the past several years, the U.S. Navy in Europe has poured time, money and personnel into its continued effort to help western African nations learn to protect their coastal waters and natural resources.

The Gulf of Guinea is rich in resources such as diamonds, mahogany, fish and petroleum, but plagued by poverty, unstable governments and terrorists trying to gain a foothold.

The Kauffman has a crew of approximately 250 personnel and is homeported in Norfolk, Va.

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