By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs
The Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) departed Dakar, Senegal, April 7, 2018, after a scheduled port visit. The port visit followed the ship’s participation in exercise Obangame Express 2018, and served to enhance U.S.-Senegal relations as the two nations work together for a stable, secure and prosperous region.
"Dakar treated Mount Whitney with great hospitality and allowed us to experience their culture, rich history, and great food,” said Capt. Robert Aguilar, commanding officer of Mount Whitney. “This is the first time for many members of the crew to visit Africa, and Dakar has made a very good impression.”
The Honorable Tulinabo S. Mushingi, U.S. Ambassador to Senegal, was the guest speaker at a reception hosted aboard Mount Whitney. Other ambassadors to Senegal attended representing Brazil, China, France, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Korea, Morocco, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, and the United Kingdom .
Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners participated in a community relations event with a local school.
"It was awesome seeing how happy the kids were," said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Caleb Hunsaker. "We helped clean up and played some games. Afterwards we sat in a circle, played guitar and danced around. They even made glass beads as a gift for us."
Mount Whitney is on a deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility in support of the international collaborative capacity-building program Africa Partnership Station (APS), U.S. Naval Forces Africa's flagship maritime security cooperation program. The focus of APS is to build maritime safety and security by increasing maritime domain awareness, response capabilities and infrastructure.