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Kauffman, Navy Ship Visits Build Cooperation in Angola

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070228-11
Release Date: 2/28/2007 4:41:00 PM

By Mass Communication 2nd Class Anthony Dallas, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/ Commander, 6th Fleet Public Affairs

LUANDA, Angola (NNS) -- USS Kauffman (FFG 59) completed a four-day port visit here Feb. 24 as part of an ongoing effort to enhance relations throughout West and Central Africa.

As the second U.S. Navy ship to conduct a port call to Luanda in the past 33 years, Kauffman’s stay built upon the successful April 2006 visit by USS Emory S. Land (AS 39).

A U.S. Navy task force comprised of Kauffman, USCGC Legare (WMEC 912) and elements of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 60, based in Italy, are currently deployed to the Gulf of Guinea to strengthen regional maritime partnerships.

“Our visit to Angola is part of a strategic commitment by Naval Forces Europe, 6th Fleet to improve maritime security and safety in this region,” said Capt. John Nowell, commander of the deployed task force and embarked aboard Kauffman. “Persistent presence in the form of ship and personnel deployments and joint training with the Angolan Navy are not only great learning experiences for us, but also provide an opportunity to strengthen our friendship with the leaders and people in Luanda.”

The friendly atmosphere began as soon as the ship arrived Feb. 20 when the crew was greeted by senior Angolan Navy leaders and U.S. Ambassador Cynthia Efird.

“The Kauffman port visit is important in many ways, especially in developing security cooperation,” said Efird. “I think this visit represents hope in the local community as [Angola’s] relationship with the United States improves.”

Kauffman Sailors did their part to build friendships by assisting in rebuilding areas recently damaged by major flooding. The embarked Naval Forces Europe-Africa band also played at local schools and other venues.

But the most important activities centered on joint training with the Angolan Navy. With a goal to increase Angolan Navy core competencies, Kauffman Sailors “trained the trainers,” by instructing nine hand-picked Angolan senior enlisted in multiple disciplines. Over three days, they practiced weapons employment and search methods for visit, board, search and seizure operations; basic wounds and medical triage; and navigation organization and equipment.

“It was very important to bring U.S. Navy skills and knowledge across the Atlantic to conduct this mission,” said Chief Quartermaster (SW/AW) James Kuroski, who led basic navigation training with the Angolans. “Their eagerness to learn made training easier.”

Homeported in Norfolk, Kauffman’s crew will continue their mission to strengthen African partnerships with a visit to the Republic of the Congo.

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