NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, together with 25 African and European partner countries began the final planning conferences for Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2011 East and West, Sept. 8.
The goal of both conferences is to provide a forum for decision makers and planners to finalize 2011 APS schedules and training plans. The conferences will conclude Sept. 15.
"We are looking to provide longer duration training in the hubs," said Rear Adm. Gerard Hueber, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa deputy chief of staff for strategy, resources, and plans. "Specifically in APS 2011, we are looking for more underway operations, more exercises, rather than classroom training. African partners in their ships and boats, with their crews and teams patrolling their waters."
The APS West conference is held in Libreville, Gabon, and the conference for APS East is held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
APS has experienced steady growth in both African and international involvement since its inception in 2007. What began as a series of training engagements and port visits has grown into a platform of international partnerships and maritime security training from multiple countries. Referred to as "hubs", these events have evolved into bigger and more detailed programs.
Now African maritime security professionals are training the future maritime security professionals. The participation of African trainers as part of the APS 2011 staff embodies the concept of African solutions to African problems.
APS 2011 will continue this growth with more "mini-hub" events on both coasts of Africa, training events of longer duration, and the implementation of additional training prior to APS platform arrival in the host nations.
APS is an international initiative developed by Naval Forces Europe-Africa that aims to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.