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Dallas, Cape Verde Complete First-Ever Law Enforcement Mission

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080618-06
Release Date: 6/18/2008 11:22:00 AM

By Coast Guard Public Affairs Specialist 1st Class Tasha Tully, Africa Partnership Station Public Affairs

CAPE VERDE (NNS) -- The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Dallas concluded a groundbreaking law enforcement mission on June 17, marking the first time a foreign law enforcement detachment conducted patrols and interdiction operations from a U.S. military ship in Western Africa.

Dallas, a 378-foot cutter homeported in Charleston, S.C., is currently deployed off the coasts of West and Central Africa in support of U.S. Naval Forces Europe's Africa Partnership Station (APS) initiative.

"Our operations over the last week and a half are a shining example of how sustained engagement efforts like APS assist our African partners in improving maritime safety and security competencies and capabilities," said Capt. Robert Wagner, Dallas' commander.

"For the first time, we were able to build upon training provided during previous U.S. and international partner ship visits, allowing the Cape Verdean Coast Guard to practice their skills on the water while enforcing their domestic laws."

During the 12-day visit, Cape Verde Coast Guard personnel came aboard Dallas and conducted visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) familiarization activities including boarding six vessels operating in Cape Verdean waters to enforce Cape Verde law. The boardings, which were led by Cape Verde Coast Guard officers, were conducted from Dallas.

Cape Verde personnel also practiced maritime law enforcement tactical-team movements, handcuffing and personnel searching, as well as basic damage control and firefighting techniques. Immediate feedback was given to each participant regarding techniques, tactics and procedures in order to provide the most beneficial learning environment. In addition, Dallas delivered law-enforcement-boarding equipment to the Cape Verdean Coast Guard.

"This is vital training for our organization and it will serve to prepare us to better our naval squadron," said Lt. Jose Mario Lopez Tavares, Cape Verde Coast Guard Naval Squadron communications officer. "Right now our biggest challenge is to control the territorial seas of Cape Verde and the training and donated equipment will help us do that."

"This operation was an unqualified success. It shows that international cooperation to enhance Cape Verde's maritime security and to protect its natural resources is in everyone's interests," said Captain Phil Heyl, a U.S. Coast Guard officer assigned to the operations logistics directorate of U.S. Africa Command.

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

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