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USS Samuel B. Roberts Departs Congo

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100126-06
Release Date: 1/26/2010 4:27:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Terry Spain/ USS Samuel B. Roberts Public Affairs

POINTE-NOIRE, Congo (NNS) -- USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) departed the Republic of the Congo Jan. 26 after a seven-day Africa Partnership Station (APS) West port visit.

Sailors trained side-by-side with members of the Congolese Navy on small boat maintenance and handling, automatic information system (AIS), technology, and combat-lifesaving.

"I'm glad I was able to help train members of the Congolese Navy in first aid. Many of them have never done CPR. Hopefully with the training they received they can share [what they learned] with their counterparts and help save lives," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Travers Leger.

During the visit, Sailors also completed two community relations (COMREL) projects including renovations of Pointe-Noire II High School and Diosso Primary School.

"We were very well received at each of the COMREL sites. More than 100 Sailors volunteered for the COMRELs, which we completed in two days," said Lt. j.g. Jonathan Black, command chaplain aboard Samuel B. Roberts. "The best part of the COMREL was knowing that we were able to make people's lives better."

Samuel B. Roberts delivered two pallets of medical and hygiene supplies to Complex Creche Garndere de Voumvon, a local orphanage, during a Project Handclasp cermeony attended by Cmdr. Chuck Sellers, commanding officer of Samuel B. Roberts and Alan Eastham, U.S. ambassador to the Republic of the Congo.

Samuel B. Roberts also hosted a reception for distinguished guests, including Eastham, Prefect of Pointe-Noire Honore Packat, Mayor of Pointe-Noire Roland Bouity Viaudo and Military Region Commander Gen. Rene Boukaka.

After the reception, Sailors enjoyed the food, culture and tours, as well as a friendly game of soccer against the Congolese Navy team.

"I really enjoyed the country. The people were really nice, and the embassy did an outstanding job organizing events for us. We had a chance to play soccer with one of their professional teams. The experience was great," said Operations Specialist 3rd Class Patrick Englert.

Samuel B. Roberts has provided training exercises and COMREL projects to many West African countries as a part of APS West, to include Gabon, Sierra Leone, and Senegal. APS is an international initiative developed by Naval Forces Africa to improve maritime safety and security with African partner countries.

Samuel B. Roberts is a guided-missile destroyer homeported in Mayport, Fla. The ship is on a scheduled deployment to the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

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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