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NEWS | March 17, 2021

NAVEUR-NAVAF provides coordination assistance to explosions in Equatorial Guinea

By By Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Vollmer

A U.S. Naval Force Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) Sailor provided assistance to Equatorial Guinea after recent explosions in the port city of Bata, Equatorial Guinea.


NAVEUR-NAVAF Senior Enlisted Engineer, Senior Chief Enrique Molina, provided assistance to Cmdr. Timothy Derbyshire, U.S. Embassy Defense Attaché, to determine the scope of damage caused by the blasts and what possible support the U.S. Government could provide to Equatorial Guinea.


“My skills and experience in construction helped make a difference here in Bata,” Molina said. “One of the biggest strengths of the Navy Seabees is helping in situations such as disaster relief and humanitarian aid.”


Molina was already in Equatorial Guinea when the explosions occurred to conduct maritime capability and infrastructure assessments in the capital city of Malabo. Shortly after the blasts occurred, the Hon. Susan Stevenson, U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, requested Molina to accompany Derbyshire to Bata due to his expeditionary engineering experience and Spanish language proficiency.


Derbyshire and Molina flew directly to Bata and began coordinating with local Equatoguinean Military.


“We’re conducting assessments of local hospitals, the blast site, and surrounding infrastructure,” Molina said. “We continue working with representatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development.”


The assessments will help determine the needs of Equatorial Guinea and formulate possible U.S. Government support.


U.S. Sixth 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.