By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ford Williams
The Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) departed Mindelo, Cabo Verde, August 11, 2019, after completing a scheduled port visit in support of its 2019 Africa Partnership Station (APS) deployment.
While in Mindelo, embarked forces conducted various engagements with Cabo Verdeans including small boat maintenance assistance, maritime law enforcement cross-training, and medical and community relations outreach.
A small boat maintenance team consisting of U.S. and Spanish Sailors worked alongside engineers from the Cabo Verdean coast guard, providing shipboard maintenance on two patrol crafts.
The U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band's New Orleans brass band “Topside” held performances at the Novos Amigos school, during a community relations project at the Irmaos Unidos center as well as a walking concert in downtown Mindelo.
Topside also performed during a media availability aboard the ship where shipboard personnel conducted a tour for local media outlets, including interviews with Cmdr. Tyrone Bruce, the ship’s embarked military detachment officer in charge, and U.S. Chargee d'Affaires to Cabo Verde Amanda Porter.
Following the media availability, a reception was held aboard the ship. The reception was attended by embarked military personnel, international guests, and official members from the U.S. embassy. Deputy Chief of Mission to Cabo Verde Amanda Porter was the guest speaker.
“These visits symbolize the important partnership between our countries in the area of maritime security,” said Porter. “Our relationship continues to evolve as we collaborate to achieve common objectives of security and economic growth. Like our bilateral relationship, this visit allows us to see that our partnership goes beyond the maritime security area.”
Embarked medical personnel took a tour of Hospital Baptista De Sousa in Mindelo. The tour was followed by a medical conference where embarked doctors and nurses cross-trained with their Cabo Verdean counterparts.
Also during the port visit, Coast Guardsmen assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team Pacific, as well as Spanish and Portuguese marines, conducted various visit, board, search and seizure exercises with the Cabo Verdean Coast Guard.
“The engagements we conducted in Cabo Verde were informative and productive, further proving the existing ability of the U.S. and Cabo Verdean coast guards to soundly and safely interoperate,” said Lt. j.g. Miles Miller, officer in charge of the embarked Coast Guard detachment. “The exchange of tactics, theory, and operational experiences resulted in continued growth for our mutually beneficial partnership.”
Additionally, more than 20 Sailors conducted a community relations event at the Irmaos Unidos center in Mindelo. After interacting with the children, Capt. Herbert Griffin, force chaplain of U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa, presented various supplies, toys and sports equipment to the children and delivered remarks. The band also held a performance.
This was the fifth and final port visit of the ship’s deployment in support of 2019 APS. Over the last five weeks the ship has visited Dakar, Senegal; Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire; Sekondi and Tema, Ghana; and Lagos, Nigeria.
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. 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.