NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49) made a port visit to Lome, Togo, Feb. 1, as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2011.
Robert G. Bradley brings with her a team of maritime professionals to provide training and engage in exercises with our African partners. Small boat maintenance, maritime law, construction training, medical treatment, and search and rescue training, are just a few of the collaborative training courses provided throughout this year's APS.
APS started four years ago and has since grown to involve 34 African, European and South American countries, along with multiple non-governmental organizations (NGO).
"We are excited to be part of the U.S. enduring commitment to APS and its common goal of achieving a secure, stable and prosperous maritime environment in Africa," said Rear Adm. Gerard P. Hueber, deputy chief of staff for strategy, resources and plans for U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa. "The activities we have planned for 2011 with our international partners will continue to aide the capacity of theater security cooperation and reinforce the groundwork of maritime safety and security in the region."
While in port, Robert G. Bradley's crew and international staff will embark 12 embedded partners from Dakar, Senegal, to Freetown, Sierra Leone, for five weeks in conjunction with the ship's first two APS hubs. Additionally, Naval Forces Africa trainers will train more than 130 students from Benin, Ghana, and Togo, in conjunction with Robert G. Bradley's first APS hub in Lome, Togo.
APS 2011 is more than a single ship or event in one region of Africa. APS 2011 will conduct maritime security events in East and West Africa using five U.S. and three European partner ships. Each ship will conduct a variety of training hubs with students from neighboring countries participating in a central location. The APS international staff will work together with African partners to develop solutions to global maritime problems through training and exercises.
"Africa Partnership Station is truly an international effort to enhance maritime security and help build partner capacity in Africa," said Capt. Dan Shaffer, commander, Destroyer Squadron 60 and APS West commander. "Our collective efforts over the coming year, starting with Robert G. Bradley next month, are focused on helping our African partners achieve security interdependence."
Robert G. Bradley is scheduled to visit Cape Verde, Senegal, Togo, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Angola and Nigeria during the next four months. During these visits, the ship will embark African students in order to conduct professional exchanges in many areas including seamanship, maritime law enforcement, medical readiness, oil spill management, non-commissioned officer development and navigation. The ship also carries, at the request of several NGOs, a large quantity of relief goods for the African coastal countries to include educational, humanitarian and goodwill material.
Robert G. Bradley, an Oliver Harry Hazard Parry-class frigate, is homeported out of Mayport, Fla., and is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. Naval Forces Africa area of responsibility.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.