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Stephen W. Groves Sailors Lend a Helping Hand

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110228-19
2/28/2011

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class William Jamieson, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (NNS) -- USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG 29) Sailors participated in a community relations (COMREL) project at Bethsaida Girls Orphanage and Secondary School, as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) East, Feb. 23-25.

The COMREL project involved the installation of logs and the construction of sloped beams to assist in the run-off of rainwater.

"This type of undertaking would not have been possible without the efforts of many agencies here on the ground in Tanzania, said Lt. j.g. Brett Lincoln, Stephen W. Groves' COMREL coordinator.

Our Sailors also deserve a lot of credit. This was hard work in some intense weather, but our guys came out three days in a row to make sure we got this thing done. I think that says a lot about their commitment to hard work and seeing things through."

The U.S. State Department, U.S. 6th Fleet, Military Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) and Stephen W. Groves, worked together to coordinate the repairs for the Bethsaida Girls Orphanage and Secondary School that serves more than 120 students who have achieved some of the highest test scores in Tanzania.

"The hill where the project is taking place becomes extremely slippery and difficult to travel on when it rains," said Aminiel Lecso, a Bethsaida teacher. "We appreciate the U.S. Navy coming here and working so hard for our school. The girls appreciate the work that was done very much."

Lt. Franz Fuchs, MCAT officer-in-charge, said it was the children who made the project stand out during the planning stages.

"These children are all so smart," said Fuchs. "When we were looking at projects, we immediately saw this project would be of great benefit, because these children are the future leaders of Tanzania."

USS Stephen W. Groves is deployed in support of APS East, and will continue on to Seychelles, Mauritius and Kenya following this port visit.

APS is an international security cooperation initiative, facilitated by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.



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