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Military

Africa Partnership Station Returns to Gabon

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080304-12
Release Date: 3/4/2008 11:29:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW) Brian A. Goyak, Africa Partnership Station Public Affairs

PORT GENTILE, Gabon (NNS) -- Africa Partnership Station (APS) arrived in Port Gentile, for a return visit, aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) March 3.

APS is an international effort with the goal of increasing regional and maritime safety and security in West and Central Africa.

The APS staff is a team comprised of African, European and American Sailors and Marines, all working towards a common goal, partnership in maritime safety and security. APS brings an international team of expert trainers in a variety of military capacities such as maritime law, advanced boarding techniques and armed sentry.

"This return visit to Gabon by APS and Fort McHenry is a continuation of what I hope is going to be a long and beneficial partnership," said Lt. Cmdr. Marcel Mihindu, Gabon Navy liaison to APS.

With APS, training is conducted as requested by the partner countries. In Gabon, that means traditional military training, such as maintenance and small boat handling, plus a handful of specialty areas.

"The first visit for APS was to build relationships and to work on basic courses of instruction in the maritime environment," added Mihindu. "This time we are looking at conducting courses in subjects such as specialized medical training and Maritime Law."

APS is more than just training; it is also about building strong friendships. One way that is accomplished is through the efforts of the APS band "The Diplomats".

"Music reaches across culture, language, and economic barriers to reach all people, said Chief Musician Scott Davis. "We don't affect how people think, that is for policy makers, we effect how people feel."

Part of the U.S. Navy's Global Fleet Station, APS provides a platform with the capacity and persistent presence to support sustained, focused training and collaboration on a regional scale to maritime partners in West and Central Africa.

Commander Task Force 365 and 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.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe -Commander, 6th Fleet or Africa Partnership Station, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.



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