By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ford Williams
The Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) departed Dakar, Senegal, July 10, 2019, after completing a scheduled port visit in support of its 2019 Africa Partnership Station deployment.
“I would like to say thank you to our Senegalese hosts for providing everything we needed to make this port visit a success,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kara Sartain, assistant officer in charge of the military detachment aboard Carson City. “The Senegalese greeted us with a friendly welcome and shored us up with the necessary support required to achieve mission success. We look forward to our next visit to Dakar!"
During the port visit, embarked forces aboard Carson City provided various assistance and exchanged best practices with their Senegalese counterparts.
U.S. Coastguardsmen assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Detachment Pacific as well as Spanish, Portuguese and Italian sailors, conducted various visit, board, search and seizure exercises with the Senegalese navy.
Meanwhile, embarked medical personnel met with their Senegalese counterparts to have a subject matter expert exchange of best practices and conduct first aid drills.
A small boat maintenance team consisting of U.S. and Spanish sailors worked with engineers from the Senegalese navy, providing shipboard maintenance on various Senegalese patrol crafts.
“The small boat maintenance was a huge success for all,” said Chief Boatswain’s Mate Jeffry Dehaan. “Along with the help from our Spanish and Senegalese partners, we were able to diagnose and repair two small patrol crafts, which will provide additional resources for their port security teams.”
The Naval Forces Europe Band's New Orleans brass band, Topside, held performances at the African Renaissance Monument, the National School of Arts in Dakar, the Empire des Enfantes, the U.S. Embassy, and during a reception onboard.
The reception was for embarked military personnel, international guests and official members from the U.S. embassy. U.S. Ambassador to Senegal Tulinabo S. Mushingi was the official speaker and delivered remarks during the ceremony.
"Americans and Senegalese share the same boat,” said Mushingi. “We have to work together for the benefit of the American people, for the benefit of the Senegalese people, and for the benefit of the world.”
The crew also conducted a community relations event for local children at the Empire des Enfantes orphanage in Dakar. Nearly 30 Sailors participated in the community relations event playing games and donating school and art supplies, board games, sports gear, furniture, batteries and backpacks.
“We want to encourage you to study hard and to work hard,” said Captain Herbert Griffin, force chaplain of Commander Navy Forces Europe/Africa. “In everything you do, strive for excellence. Believe in yourself and you can do anything you want to do. You can become an ambassador, you can become president, you can be a teacher, you can be a doctor, you can be a lawyer, you can become an imam. You can do anything you want inshalla.”
Carson City is currently deployed to the Gulf of Guinea to demonstrate progress through partnerships and U.S. commitment to West African countries through small boat maintenance assistance, maritime law enforcement engagement, and medical and community relations outreach.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.