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Africans Training Africans in Cameroon

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110614-03

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gary A. Prill, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

DOUALA, Cameroon (NNS) -- The Senegalese military contributed a mobile training team in support of Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2011 in Cameroon, June 10.

For the first time in APS history, Senegal contributed a three-man team to teach a five-day visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) course to Cameroonian, Congolese and Gabonese students.

"APS has grown," said Capt. Lawrence Rollo, maritime affairs officer for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa. "We have more hubs focused on more training with international and multinational exercises at sea. In the future, we hope that this continues to grow and more African partners will step up as training teams for APS."

In the past, all APS training was conducted by country trainers from nations outside of Africa. Trainers have consisted of teams from Brazil, Italy and the United States.

"APS is a program of partnership among African nations and other friends. It helps create fraternity, solidarity and cooperation among these African states," said Senegalese instructor Raphael Toudji. "Already the communication is easier; we have shed the language barrier we had when working with many non-African partners. Additionally, our countries are becoming more aware that we truly have the same adversaries. They are not our neighbors' militaries, but the illegal actors in our region."

One of the most significant impacts of having African nations teaching other African nations is the relationship reinforcement the two countries receive.

"We need to reinforce these relationships of cooperation against the traffickers and pirates. The increase of sharing intelligence and training among our nations ensures that the bad actors who are trying to take advantage of us will not prevail," Toudji explained.

APS is a multinational security cooperation initiative, currently comprised of 34 nations and sponsored by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa. It is aimed at improving maritime safety and security in Africa while building lasting relationships.

APS brings together an international team of expert trainers in a variety of military capabilities, and a handful of civilian fields. It focuses on addressing maritime professionals, maritime infrastructure, maritime domain awareness and response capabilities while simultaneously fostering regional and comprehensive approach.

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