TEMA, Ghana (NNS) -- The flagship of Africa Partnership Station (APS) West 2012, USS Simpson (FFG 56), along with embarked staff, arrived in Tema, Ghana, Feb. 18 to begin their involvement with the APS 2012 Ghanaian hub.
The hub, taking place after a recent port visit to Nigeria, brings training designed to strengthen African maritime partnerships to improve maritime safety and security to more than 40 maritime professionals from the Ghanaian navy, as well as 10 ship riders from partner nations including Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Nigeria, Republic of Congo and Togo.
Simpson provides APS with a platform to give hands-on experience in a maritime working environment.
Simpson commanding officer, Cmdr. Leonard Milliken said the hub was an opportunity for him and his crew to build relationships, share knowledge with Ghanaian partners and show off their ship.
"The Simpson crew and I are excited about the opportunity of working with professionals from the Ghanaian navy," said Milliken. "It's an essential mission within our current maritime environment, bringing African solutions to global problems with international support."
Hub participants will attend courses on board Simpson in basic first aid and basic damage control. This training furthers APS objectives to strengthen maritime professionals and develop response capabilities while encouraging regional integration.
Milliken is scheduled to make office calls with senior leaders from Tema including Ghanaian navy base Command Operations Officer (COO), Cmdr. Emmanuel Kwafo; Tema Local Chief, Nii Adjei Kraku II; and Tema Mayor, Robert Kempes Ofosuware.
Simpson Sailors will have the opportunity to partake in local cultural tours including a trip to nearby Akosombo, to embark on a day cruise on the world´s largest man-made lake, and to Kakum National Park, where they will have the opportunity to look down on a rain forest from a canopy walk.
A friendly, unofficial soccer match with the Ghanaian navy is also scheduled for Simpson Sailors as an integral hub event, providing a means to enhance and enrich the APS training through fostering teamwork and camaraderie on the field and off.
The hub will end with a reception on board Simpson, co-hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Donald Teitelbaum, and Milliken.
Simpson will then depart Tema and participate in a scheduled passing exercise with the Ghanaian navy ship Anzone, which will involve shipboard maneuvers out at sea, completing the hub´s APS training.
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.
Simpson is on a regularly scheduled deployment to the 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
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