An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | March 19, 2023

U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa Band arrives in Sal Island, Cabo Verde for first African Maritime Forces Summit

By Lt. Taija Griffin, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

Musicians from the U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa Band arrived in Sal Island, Cabo Verde, March 18, 2023, for the first African Maritime Forces Summit (AMFS).

The band, comprised of U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps musicians, is a 21-piece ensemble consisting of woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments. While in Sal Island, the band will participate in several community outreach events including workshops with students at Escola Dona Tututa, strolling performances for residents in Espargos, and a joint concert with the Sal Island Municipal Band in Santa Maria.

“Regardless of the language we speak, music always brings us together,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kelly Cartwright, Bandmaster. “We’ve been so warmly received by the community here. Hearing them sing along with our band as we played music by the famed Cabo Verdan singer-songwriter, Cesária Évora, was a powerful reminder of what is possible through our partnership here. ”

The band will also welcome more than 80 delegates with several performances planned during the three-day maritime leadership summit, March 20-22, 2023.

The Naval Forces Europe and Africa Band, stationed in Naples, Italy, is the U.S. Navy’s official band in Europe and Africa. The band reaches a combined audience of more than 60 million people across 35 countries throughout the course of more than 500 annual engagements. The band’s performances in Sal Island will include musicians augmented from the Second Marine Aircraft Wing Band from Cherry Point, North Carolina. The U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps have an integrated maritime strategy and often work together with African partners to improve maritime domain awareness around the continent.

AMFS is a strategic-level forum that brings maritime and naval infantry leaders together to address transnational maritime security challenges within African waters including the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Mediterranean Sea. AMFS is a new model for African senior leadership engagement, which combines the three senior leadership symposiums traditionally held during NAVAF’s annual regional express-series exercises into a single continent-wide event.

AMFS participating nations include Angola, Benin, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Italy, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Portugal, Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Participants include heads of navy, coast guards, and naval infantries from four continents including Africa, Europe, North America, and South America.

For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with our 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.