By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sara Eshleman
The Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) arrived in Sekondi, Ghana, July 21, 2019, for a scheduled port visit in support of its Africa Partnership Station (APS) deployment to the Gulf of Guinea.
“The crew of the USNS Carson City look forward to working with the Ghana army and navy during [this] port visit to Sekondi-Takoradi,” said Capt. Frank Okata, commander, Task Force 63. “U.S. 6th Fleet feels privileged to exchange techniques and procedures with the Ghanaian armed forces.”
The purpose of the port visit is to conduct subject matter expert exchanges and participate in military-to-military engagements.
“I’m looking forward to the comparison [with our counterparts],” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Lasonya Lowe. “I want to see what the hospital will look like, and I want to see how it will be different and similar to hospitals in the U.S. and hospitals we’ve seen during prior port visits.”
U.S. Sailors, Coastguardsmen, and embarked Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian service members will collaborate with their Ghanaian counterparts, participating in anti-piracy exercises, small boat maintenance, navy band performances, and medical personnel conversations across multiple platforms and locations throughout Sekondi.
“For the shipboard medicine portion, I’m looking forward to seeing how they do things and if we can pick up some new things from them, and maybe contribute some of our own practices,” said Lowe.
Sekondi is Carson City’s third stop in the 2019 APS deployment, having completed port visits to Dakar, Senegal, July 8-10 and to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, July 15-19.
“The Ghanaian armed forces are a valued partner of the United States Navy,” said Okata. “USNS Carson City and commander, Task Force 63 are grateful for the warmth of the welcome extended by Ghana.”
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. Naval Forces Europe-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. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/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.