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Gulf of Guinea Multilateral Exercise Improves Maritime Security

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070402-21
Release Date: 4/2/2007 5:23:00 PM

From CNE-C6F Public Affairs

USS KAUFFMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Three naval vessels, USS Kauffman (FFG 59), the French ship Commandant L'Herminier (F 791) and a Cameroonian patrol boat participated in maneuvering exercises off the coast of Limbe, Cameroon March 21 to strengthen regional maritime partnerships, and improve maritime security and safety in the Gulf of Guinea.

The day-long multi-lateral exercise included events planned by military ship riders embarked aboard Kauffman from Cameroon, Gabon, France, and Sao Tome and Principe focused on communication and cooperative training.

“This is a very big exercise for Cameroon,” said Capt. Ferdinand Ndzomo, Commander Naval Base Limbe, who was also embarked aboard Kauffman for the exercise. “This is the first time five countries are working together for the interests of the Gulf of Guinea, and it was because of the help of the United States.”

During the exercise the three vessels conducted seamanship and navigation drills including small boat transfers and precision maneuvers with the ships, called division tactics, led by Cameroon. Man overboard recoveries were also practiced using U.S. and French ridged hull inflatable boats (RHIB) and Cameroonian divers. Swimmers from each nation worked together performing body tows, and finished with a series of races to see who could reach the man first.

Kauffman has been deployed to West and Central Africa since early February as part of a Naval Forces Europe/6th Fleet initiative to improve maritime security and safety in the region.

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