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Samuel B. Roberts Brings APS to Mombasa
Captain John Esposito, deputy commodore of Destroyer Squadron Six Zero, and Commander Angel Cruz, the commanding officer of USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58), met with local senior officials to mark the ship´s arrival as part of the Kenyan training
Captain John Esposito, deputy commodore of Destroyer Squadron Six Zero, and Commander Angel Cruz, the commanding officer of USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58), met with local senior officials to mark the ship´s arrival as part of the Kenyan training hub of Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2011, July 19-20, 2011.

During the first day of Samuel B. Roberts´ port visit the Navy leaders met with Kenyan Navy Commander Major General Ngewa Mukala at the Mombasa Kenyan Naval Base.

The senior leaders sat down to afternoon tea, a tradition traced back to Kenya´s past as a former British colony, to discuss APS and the educational impact the training initiative has provided for both countries.

"We really appreciate what the U.S. is doing with APS here in Kenya, and it´s important that we keep the relationship going from generation to generation," said Mukala.

He then expressed appreciation for the U.S. government´s training of young Kenyan sailors, specifically citing hub classes that commenced the week prior, including the Special Boat Unit and Naval Leadership courses.

"Not only is APS a program that is beneficial to our African partners, but it is also educational for our U.S. sailors, especially in the area of cultural exchange and understanding," responded Esposito.

The following day Samuel B. Roberts´ commanding officer returned the invitation by hosting the Kenyan Navy commander for lunch in the ship´s wardroom and a personal ship tour. During the tour, Mukala was introduced to two Kenyan midshipmen embarked on board Samuel B. Roberts to receive at-sea training as part of APS.

The following day, the U.S. Navy leaders made morning office calls to the deputy provincial commissioner, Coast Province, Khamasi Shivogo, and the Mombasa City Council town clerk, Tubmun Otieno. Discussion during the official visits focused on maritime safety and security in Africa, a fundamental tenant of APS.

In addition to military training, Samuel B. Roberts will participate in community relations (COMREL) projects at a local hospital and school.

APS Kenyan Hub began July 11 with classes including humanitarian relief, small boat operations and basic instructor training. The courses are taught by both African partners and U.S. Navy sailors from Maritime Civil Affairs and Security Training Command, based out of Dam Neck, Va., and Samuel B. Roberts.

The Kenyan hub brings more than 85 maritime professionals from seven partner nations together for training designed to improve capacity and capability in the region. Samuel B. Roberts provides APS with a platform to give hands-on experience in a real, working environment.

APS is an international security cooperation initiative, facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.
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