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By Lt. Taija Griffin, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) arrived in Sal Island, Cabo Verde for a scheduled port visit, March 19, 2023.
The visit, held in support of the African Maritime Forces Summit, will include ship tours for more than 80 delegates from 38 nations. The maritime leaders will also observe shipboard firefighting demonstrations, joint U.S. Coast Guard and Cabo Verdean boarding drills, and simulated bomb-disposal robotics conducted by U.S. Marines.
“It’s an honor to have our ship here in Cabo Verde as a visible sign of what our alliances represent, maintaining a free and open maritime environment. Our partnerships with Cabo Verde and other African maritime partners are key in fostering a global effort to ensure uninhibited access to the maritime domain while increasing security at sea,” said Cmdr. Richard Slye, commanding officer of Bulkeley.
While in Sal Island, the ship’s crew will participate in community outreach activities with students in Palmeira, including hosting ship tours and playing sports games. The U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa Brass Band will also perform for students, which features a mixture of Afro-Portugese and traditional songs.
“It is an honor for me to welcome the USS Bulkeley to Cabo Verde’s shores as part of the inaugural African Maritime Forces Summit being held in Sal. This ship visit represents another historic milestone in our ongoing efforts to strengthen the U.S.-Cabo Verde maritime security partnership,” said U.S. Ambassador to Cabo Verde Jeff Daigle.
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.
Bulkeley, homeported in Rota, Spain, is assigned as a U.S. Navy Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) destroyer. FDNF-E ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain.
Commissioned on Dec. 8, 2001, the ship is named in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Rear Adm. John Duncan Bulkeley, who’s 55 years of naval service included action in both the Pacific and Atlantic theaters during World War II and the Korean War. Bulkeley was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions as commander of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3 in Philippine waters from December 7, 1941 to April 10, 1942. He died on April 6, 1996 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
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.