LIMBE, Cameroon (NNS) -- Africa Partnership Station (APS), aboard Amphibious Dock Landing Ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), arrived at Limbe, Dec. 4, marking its fourth port visit of a seven-month deployment.
Building on the Chief of Naval Operations' Maritime Strategy, APS seeks to enhance regional and maritime safety and security in West and Central Africa, by developing partner capabilities and relationships.
While the Navy has conducted training during routine deployments in West Africa for years, the focus of APS is new and different.
APS brings together an international team of expert trainers in a variety of military capacities, and a handful of civilian fields such as fisheries management.
"It's really good for the U.S. to come up with the APS concept, since they are the ones financing it and also went ahead to bring international partners," said Cameroonian Navy Lt. Cmdr. Clement Fru Fon, APS staff training planner. "With the globalization going on these days, nobody is an island. You have to work with the people. You have to create partnerships, and partnerships are good for the future of Cameroon, the future of America and the future of the world."
APS is more than training, however. In Cameroon, there are military construction projects planned, as well as a COMREL project designed to rehabilitate a chicken coop at an agricultural training cooperative.
"Cameroon will benefit a lot from APS presence, because APS will be constructing a pier for one of our naval bases. They will also train more than 100 of our Cameroonian Sailors to help them provide Maritime safety and security in our region," said Fon.
APS 2007 is a U.S. Naval Forces Europe-led initiative, executed by a multi-national staff aboard Fort McHenry and High Speed Vessel 2 Swift.
Commander Task Group 60.4 and training teams from various U.S. and European military commands, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations are embarked on board Fort McHenry to enhance cooperative partnerships with regional maritime services in West and Central Africa and the Gulf of Guinea on a seven-month deployment.
For more news from USS Fort McHenry, visit www.navy.mil/local/lsd43/.