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By U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet
The Famous-class medium endurance USCGC Spencer (WMEC 905) arrived in Dakar, Senegal for a scheduled port visit following a multinational maritime security patrol, Jan. 17, 2023.
Spencer’s visit to Dakar included meetings with Capt. Karim Mara, Senegalese deputy chief of naval staff, as well as leaders from the Senegalese Navy and the U.S. Office of Security Cooperation. Prior to the port visit, Spencer embarked maritime counterparts from Cabo Verde, Senegal and The Gambia for a security patrol to identify and deter illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing as well as build living marine resource enforcement capacity with African partner nations.
“We were able to build maritime domain awareness with our partners by establishing an offshore law enforcement presence that demonstrated Cabo Verde’s, Senegal’s, and The Gambia’s commitment to maritime security and living marine resource enforcement. We did this by conducting combined maritime law enforcement operations and effectively communicating and coordinating with each country’s Maritime Operations Center,” said Cmdr. Corey Kerns, Spencer’s commanding officer.
This deployment demonstrates NAVAF and the U.S. Coast Guard’s commitment and longstanding partnership to work with our African partners to counter illicit maritime activity in the Atlantic Ocean. The U.S. Coast Guard regularly integrates and operates within the NAVAF area of operations. The U.S. Coast Guard’s authorities and capabilities provide the Joint Force with unique tools that bridge the cooperation-to-conflict continuum.
Senegal and the United States share a proud history of promoting peace and security in Africa. Later this month, Senegal will participate in the NAVAF-led exercise Obangame Express 2023, the largest annual maritime security exercise in Western Africa. These types of exercises strengthen partnerships and allow countries to work more closely on shared transnational maritime challenges.
“The United States and Senegal enjoy an exceptional security partnership that bolsters our shared efforts to promote peace and security in West Africa, combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and protect marine resources," said Mike Raynor, U.S. Ambassador to Senegal. "The arrival of USCGC Spencer to Dakar reflects that robust partnership.”
The U.S. shares a common interest with African partner nations in ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation on the waters surrounding the continent, because these waters are critical for Africa’s prosperity and access to global markets.
U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, oversees all Coast Guard operations east of the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf, spanning across five Coast Guard districts and 40 states.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.