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USS Simpson Departs Ghana

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120223-13

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Felicito Rustique, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

TEMA, Ghana (NNS) -- Guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) departed Ghana after a three-day Africa Partnership Station (APS) port visit, Feb. 21.

The visit featured medical training and shipboard damage control with sailors from the Ghanaian navy, tours of the ship for high-school students from the American International School in Ghana, and boarding technique training aboard the Ghana patrol ship, GNS Azone (P 30).

Simpson's Sailors went ashore and participated in a community project by distributing soccer balls and donated schoolbooks to kids at a local community center. Sailors also played soccer with members of Ghana's navy.

"It was an honor to play their team, a great opportunity to find common ground through sportsmanship and friendly competition," said Yeoman 1st Class McKinley Climenhaga, who helped organize and play on Simpson's soccer team. "It was an even match, and I knew it would be tough. But I was proud of how we held up."

Sailors also enjoyed liberty by taking buses into the city of Tema to enjoy food at local restaurants. Sailors also enjoyed souvenir shopping at stands that sold local hand-carved wooden masks and sculptures.

Simpson's commanding officer, Cmdr. Leonard Milliken, made official visits to Ghana's Eastern Naval Command Headquarters, the palace of the chief of Tema and the mayor's office. Each visit included briefs and gift exchanges to emphasize the continued naval alliance between the Ghana and United States.

The visit concluded with an evening reception aboard Simpson hosted by its crew.

"The superb hospitality displayed by the community in Tema, Ghana was warm and inviting. My crew thoroughly enjoyed themselves during our short port visit," said Milliken. "Together, I believe our two nations achieved another major milestone towards improving our naval capabilities that promise to pay impressive dividends in the future for increasing maritime security in this region."

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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