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International Forum Plans 2010 Maritime Partnership in Africa
Maritime planners and experts from 20 countries gathered in New York on July 28, 2009 to refine activities and the schedule for the 2010 Africa Partnership Station, a premier international maritime program in Africa. <br /> <br />Organized and led
NEW YORK - Dr. George Waife gives the keynote address at the Africa Partnership Station (APS) main planning conference in New York City, July 28, 2009. Waife is a senior lecturer and doctor of Oceanography and Fisheries for the University of Ghana and is currently participating in the planning for APS, a U.S. Navy-led program designed to enhance the capabilities of African nations in the area of maritime safety and security. (Photo by Lieutenant Patrick Foughty, NAVAF)
U.S. AFRICOM Photo | | Thursday, July 30, 2009 | NEW YORK - Dr. George Waife gives the keynote address at the Africa Partnership Station (APS) main planning conference in New York City, July 28, 2009. Waife is a senior lecturer and doctor of Oceanography and Fisheries for the University of Ghana and is currently participating in the planning for APS, a U.S. Navy-led program designed to enhance the capabilities of African nations in the area of maritime safety and security. (Photo by Lieutenant Patrick Foughty, NAVAF) Download full-resolution version
NEW YORK - Gabonese Navy Captain Loic Moudouma, commandant of Communaute Economique des Etats de l&#39;Afrique Centrale (CEEAC) and Lieutenant junior grade Pete Flynt of U.S. Naval Forces Africa discuss a regional agreement in the Gulf of Guinea that will further the goals of Africa Partnership Station (APS) at a planning conference in New York, July 28, 2009. APS is a U.S. Navy-led program designed to enhance the capabilities of African nations in the area of maritime safety and security. (Photo by Lieutenant Patrick Foughty, NAVAF)
U.S. AFRICOM Photo | | Thursday, July 30, 2009 | NEW YORK - Gabonese Navy Captain Loic Moudouma, commandant of Communaute Economique des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale (CEEAC) and Lieutenant junior grade Pete Flynt of U.S. Naval Forces Africa discuss a regional agreement in the Gulf of Guinea that will further the goals of Africa Partnership Station (APS) at a planning conference in New York, July 28, 2009. APS is a U.S. Navy-led program designed to enhance the capabilities of African nations in the area of maritime safety and security. (Photo by Lieutenant Patrick Foughty, NAVAF) Download full-resolution version
Maritime planners and experts from 20 countries gathered in New York on July 28, 2009 to refine activities and the schedule for the 2010 Africa Partnership Station, a premier international maritime program in Africa.

Organized and led by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF), this three-day conference brings together more than 170 officials from 14 African and four European countries to design a program that helps African naval and coast guard activities strengthen their maritime safety and security capabilities.

"This conference is an important step for our future engagements in Africa," said U.S. Navy Captain Skip Lussier, director of the Africa Regional Group for NAVEUR-NAVAF. "This program relies heavily on meeting the requests and needs of our African partners, so it is vital we come together often and early in order to discuss in an open forum how we can, collectively, best make a positive difference in the maritime environment in Africa."

APS 2010 includes a deployment by a major U.S. amphibious ship, the USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), among other U.S. and European ships and assets that will visit selected ports in West and East African nations. The objective is to help enable African navies to develop their security capabilities within their borders and improve communication with neighboring countries, Lussier said.

Dr. George Waife, a doctor of oceanography and fisheries at the University of Ghana and the conference's keynote speaker, said maritime safety and security along Africa's coastlines must be viewed "first and foremost as an African problem."

He pointed out the unique ability of APS to provide training to African navies and coast guards, underscoring that the effort is a partnership.

"Partnership comes with responsibility. As Africans, we must rise to the occasion," he told the audience. "We must demonstrate leadership in our own back yard and forge partnerships … (and show) that we are partners in developing transformational change on the continent of Africa."

APS began in 2007 with the deployment of the USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) to West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea as a "floating schoolhouse" that trained African maritime professionals. The program has since been followed by more than eight different U.S. ships and various training teams and aircraft, as well as other European and African navies.

This week's conference emphasizes the U.S. government's "whole of government" approach to security assistance in Africa. Officials from the Department of State, Department of Energy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, among others, are on hand to collaborate with naval planners.

NAVAF is the maritime component of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), the sixth regional command in the Department of Defense.
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