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APS Trains Cameroonian Sailors on VBSS Techniques

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071213-11
Release Date: 12/13/2007 2:21:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW/SW) RJ Stratchko, Africa Partnership Station Public Affairs

LIMBE, Cameroon (NNS) -- As part of the Navy's Global Maritime Strategy, Africa Partnership Station (APS) is training Cameroonian Sailors on visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) techniques in a two-week course as an international effort aiming to enhance regional maritime safety and security in West and Central Africa.

The training took place aboard USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), which arrived in Limbe, Dec. 4.

"The joint forces training program that we have established with the French, Cameroonian, and U.S. Navies is helping," said Ensign Manooch Azizi, Fort McHenry VBSS officer. "We are trying to pass on these valuable skills to help them bolster their maritime security, and also protect their assets and their shores from drug running, proliferation, human trafficking, and also protect their economic exclusionary zone, which is a key component to their future economic development."

With APS, training in specific areas is requested by the partner countries, is provided by trainers by the multi-national APS staff.

APS includes African, European and American Sailors from seven partner countries all on the same staff, working towards a common goal.

"The Cameroonians are doing a wonderful job learning a very new skill set," said Azizi. "We practice two different styles of VBSS, however the mission itself is uniform in nature. I foresee that when we come back in the future, this skill set will be easier to comprehend," he added, referring to future APS missions to Cameroon in the spring.

APS 2007 is a U.S. Naval Forces Europe-led initiative, executed by a multi-national staff aboard Fort McHenry and High Speed Vessel 2 Swift. Training teams from various U.S. and European military commands, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations are embarked on board Fort McHenry to enhance cooperative partnerships with regional maritime services in West and Central Africa and the Gulf of Guinea on a seven-month deployment.

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