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The Navy’s Africa Partnership Station, sailing aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry, is now off Sao Tome and Principe, the fourth West African nation visited since starting its maiden deployment in November, according to a Navy news release.

The underlying mission of the APS is to teach West African navies to secure their coastlines and waterways — an effort to counter drug smuggling and illegal human trafficking and to cut down on illegal fishing, a $1 billion industry.

The international staff of this APS mission, made up of the Fort McHenry and the High Speed Vessel Swift, is led by U.S. Naval Forces Europe. The crews also have visited Senegal, Ghana and Cameroon.

The Fort McHenry arrived in Sao Tome on Monday, according to the release.


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