High Speed Vessel Swift-2, deployed with embarked Sailors from Togo and other countries West and Central Africa since July, arrived in Lome, Togolese Republic, Aug. 25, for a four-day port visit as part of Africa Partnership Station.
Swift last visited Togo as part of APS at the beginning of 2008, and was the first US Navy ship to visit Togo in 15 years. APS is a multinational initiative developed by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa which aims to work cooperatively with U.S. and international partners to enhance maritime safety and security on the African continent. "Our trainers, our students, our crew and our partner countries have worked together in this continuing effort to build maritime domain awareness," said APS Swift mission commander, Cdr. John D. Tolg.
"The success of this six-week mission is a maritime professional pillar in meeting the [Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa 2009] operational objective to build maritime safety and security throughout the region."
The embarked African students from the navies of Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo, trained in visit, board, search and seizure tactics as well as intermediate small boat instruction.
"These Sailors worked together to create theater security for the Gulf of Guinea and develop the relationships that will help them work together in the future," said Chief Petty Officer Willie J. Donald, the supervisor for the embarked training team.
"The fact they came from six different countries and worked so well together is one of the things I found most impressive." While in Togo, Swift's crew will participate in a community relations project, host a shipboard reception, deliver medical supplies as part of Project Handclasp, and conduct a recognition ceremony for the Benin and Togolese sailors.
Swift, homeported in Norfolk, Va., is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe, 6th Fleet Public Affairs
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Dan Meaney