TEMA, Ghana (NNS) -- Africa Partnership Station (APS) and the Ghanaian Navy moved a step closer to substantiality with a partnership ground breaking ceremony launching the construction of a medical clinic in Tema, Nov. 20.
The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Pamela Bridgewater, attended the ceremony, as did the Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Defense, The Honorable William Boafo.
"Once the medical clinic is completed, it will be the center of a community outreach performed jointly through the international non-governmental organization Project Hope and doctors from the U.S. Navy," said Bridgewater.
APS is an international effort responding to specific African requests for assistance, collaborated through partnerships and teamwork. The Tema clinic is one of more than a dozen community relations projects planned during this six-month round of APS.
"It is very gratifying that after all the visits our interaction in the partnership has yielded something very good. As we stand here today, we are going to witness the ground breaking for a medical clinic to be built by the U.S. Seabees in partnership with our work services engineers," said Ghanaian Navy Commodore Matthew Quashie, Eastern Ghana Naval Command.
"The facility that is currently on their base is old and worn, they've asked us to build a new medical facility right outside the Navy base so they can not only treat their military personnel, but so the local people can benefit from the clinic as well," said Lt. j.g. Joseph Clements, project officer with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 40.
One of the tenets of APS is to grow long-term partnerships with African nations. During the first phase of APS there will be three extended visits to Tema with multiple training opportunities. While most of APS' focus is on training, such projects serve a higher calling in developing partnerships.
"We have been asked to be here, and because of that we are working with West and Central African countries on efforts that are focused on nurturing partnerships with African nations to help them develop maritime safety and security capabilities," said Rear Adm. Tony Kurta, director for Policy, Resources and Strategy, U.S. Naval Forces Europe.
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 USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) to enhance cooperative partnerships with regional maritime services in West and Central Africa and the Gulf of Guinea on a seven-month deployment.
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