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U.S. Ship Arrives in Cameroon Early with Emergency Supplies for Chad Refugees
High speed vessel Swift (HSV 2) pulled into Douala, Cameroon, its second port for Africa Partnership Station, a day early, February 10, to help with the Chad relief effort. <br /> <br />Executive Officer Lieutenant Commander Rob Brodie explained
High speed vessel Swift (HSV 2) pulled into Douala, Cameroon, its second port for Africa Partnership Station, a day early, February 10, to help with the Chad relief effort.

Executive Officer Lieutenant Commander Rob Brodie explained why Swift is in a unique position to help. "We are pulling in a day early to deliver 27 pallets of food, medicine and hygiene to help ease the refugee crisis in northern Cameroon," he said.

While in Douala, crew members from SWIFT will conduct a community relations project, meet with local officials, play soccer with the Cameroon Navy, which also is hosting a reception for the crew, and support a diplomatic reception aboard the ship.

"For the COMREL (community relations), we hope to install some lights and overhead fans, fix some plumbing, and do some painting at a hospital in town." Brodie said. "The crew has completed several, similar projects around the world and enjoys these opportunities to make a positive impact while getting to know the locals."

The most important aspect of the port visit is the chance to build international relationships between the members of APS and their Cameroonian counterparts.

"With a small crew, 45, we find it easier to relate to sailors who sail on ships with similar compliments." Brodie said. "SWIFT has more of a family type atmosphere than what you will usually find on a larger ship. Our camaraderie is important because we spend a lot of time at sea. With two crews that rotate every four months, SWIFT remains almost continuously employed around the world and has circumnavigated the globe three times in four years."

Africa Partnership Station is a U.S. Naval Forces Europe-led initiative, executed by a multi-national staff aboard Swift and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry. During its time in Africa, Swift will work with various government and non-government organizations to deliver humanitarian aid to African countries in addition to interacting with host nation military and civilian organizations.
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