May 8, 2012, 2:36 PM
The vessel was met by U.S. Ambassador to The Gambia Edward M. “Ned” Alford, Embassy staff and officials from the United States Navy, representatives of the Gambia Naval Command and Gambia armed forces.
As part of its stay in The Gambia, the Gambian Navy will receive training on maritime intelligence, counter-trafficking, communication instruction and operations techniques in a joint effort between the U.S Navy and Spanish Marines.
HSV-Swift will be in port until 2 December 2012.
Also as part of the HSV-Swift visit, a U.S. Navy band will perform a number of concerts throughout the Greater Banjul area. The NAVEUR Band will visit schools to both perform and work with students, starting yesterday with St Therese Upper Basic School and at the American Corner along Kairaba Avenue.
Since 2007, the United States Navy has worked alongside African partner navies and coast guards through a series of Africa Partnership Station (APS) training events and regional exercises to improve maritime safety and security.
Throughout their five years of operation, APS ships and training teams have brought together over 30 African, European, North and South American countries.
As part of an ongoing international effort to improve African nations’ maritime safety and security, APS ships and training teams began to deploy to West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea in January 2012.
APS focus in West Africa and in The Gambia is to develop maritime awareness, build maritime professionals, establish maritime infrastructure, and develop response capabilities while building regional integration and cooperation.
Additional ships and training teams are also scheduled to conduct training activities in South and East Africa later in the year.APS provides a unique and hands-on opportunity to enhance African nations’ maritime security capabilities, and build lasting relationships.