Deputy Under SECNAV Visits APS East
Story Number: NNS100117-10
Release Date: 1/17/2010 8:25:00 PM
By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Jason Morris, Africa Partnership Station East Public Affairs
MOMBASA, Kenya (NNS) -- Deputy under secretary of the Navy visited Africa Partnership Station (APS) East platforms High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) and USS Nicholas (FFG 47) in Mombasa, Kenya, Jan. 14.
William Natter III visited the two vessels while they were in port conducting maritime training with the Kenyan Navy, giving him the opportunity to learn more about the APS program developing in East Africa.
"The secretary of the Navy asked me to come down here to meet with Sailors in Kenya and the East African coast to see what they are doing in advancing Navy issues and cooperative efforts. The training I observed and the visit I had aboard the two ships was very educational for me," said Natter. "APS is extremely important. Both Secretary [of the Navy Ray] Mabus and President [Barrack] Obama are setting a direction with a new attitude that we can't do everything by ourselves. We have to have partners around the world to be successful in addressing and neutralizing extremism around the world. We need our allies, and APS is one of the maritime components of this and is absolutely critical."
Natter received a tour of both ships and was later briefed on the APS East initiative by the international staff aboard Swift.
"Spending time on the water with these Sailors has been fantastic. The attitudes and morale of these Sailors on Swift and Nicholas has been inspiring," added Natter.
While there have been other APS East missions before, this is the first involving two APS platforms and the first time an international staff is executing the mission in South and East Africa. The international staff consists of members from Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania and the United States.
Swift and Nicholas will visit ports in Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Mauritius, Seychelles and Comoros. The ships bring teams of maritime experts from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and will provide training and participate in exercises with their African counterparts. Combat lifesaving, damage control, law of war, small boat operations and maintenance and physical security are just a few of the capabilities on board.
During these visits, Swift and Nicholas will also embark African ship riders in order to conduct professional exchanges in at-sea training on damage control, engineering, medical, navigation and watch standing.
Swift and Nicholas are on regular scheduled deployments within the U.S. 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility. APS East is being conducted in cooperation with Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe -U.S. Naval Forces Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.
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