By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ford Williams
The Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) arrived in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, July 15, 2019, for a scheduled port visit in support of the ship’s 2019 Africa Partnership Station (APS) deployment to the Gulf of Guinea.
While in Abidjan, forces from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, Spanish Navy, Portuguese Navy, and Italian Navy embarked aboard Carson City are scheduled to work side-by-side with Ivorian counterparts to conduct small boat logistics and maintenance, visit, board, search, and seizure engagements, various first aid scenarios, band performances, and community outreach.
“We’re honored to have the privilege to work alongside our Ivorian counterparts and strengthen our relationship,” said Engineman 1st Class Anthony Rudd, one of the small boat maintenance personnel. “We’re looking forward to repairing and restoring the operation of their harbor security boats in the hopes that it increases their port security.”
Abidjan is the second port visit of Carson City’s APS deployment. Carson City was in Dakar, Senegal, July 8-10.
“After six months of effort and deliberate planning to get USNS Carson City ready for this deployment, my crew of civilian mariners, along with our assigned military detachment for APS, is one step closer to accomplishing this specialized mission to West Africa," said Civil Service Mariner Jonathan Keffer, master of Carson City. “MSC delivers!”
A shipboard reception is scheduled to be held for embarked military personnel, international guests, and official members from the U.S. Embassy during the ship’s visit to Abidjan.
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.
APS is U.S. Forces Africa’s flagship maritime security cooperation program focusing on maritime safety and security through increased maritime awareness, response capabilities, and infrastructure. It consists of the various exercises and operations conducted by U.S., European, and African partners and allies throughout the U.S. Africa Command area of operations.
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.