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U.S. Navy Builds Maritime Partnerships in Mauritius
The USS Ashland (LSD 48) arrived in Port Louis, Mauritius, Tuesday, April 8, 2008, to promote maritime safety and security initiatives in the region. This is the first U.S. Navy ship to visit to the Indian Ocean Island this year. <br /> <br
The USS Ashland (LSD 48) arrived in Port Louis, Mauritius, Tuesday, April 8, 2008, to promote maritime safety and security initiatives in the region. This is the first U.S. Navy ship to visit to the Indian Ocean Island this year.

While in Port Louis, Navy members will participate in military information exchanges with the Mauritian Coast Guard, practicing damage control and maritime interdiction operation techniques. The crew will also host a shipboard reception for Mauritian military and government officials and participate in community engagement activities such as sporting events and community relations projects.

The U.S. Naval Forces Europe brass quintet will perform for local school children and participate in a musical exchange with students from the Francois Mitterrand Conservatory, the Roche-Bois Community Center, and Florida Center at Tombeau Bay.

"I'm excited to continue the U.S. Navy's partnership with Mauritius," Captain Nick Holman. "Last September, USS Normandy (CG 60) visited Port Louis and was greeted with hospitality and warmth by the Mauritians. With Ashland's visit this week we are continuing the relationship between our two countries."

Holman continued, "Strong maritime partnerships help neutralize threats to maritime security like piracy, unlawful fishing, smuggling and illegal drug trafficking. The United States is committed to helping our partners in Africa and around the world achieve safe, stable and economically prosperous waters free of these threats."

This is the second deployment of CTF-363's Southeast Africa Task Force. In 2007, CTF-363-assigned assets USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) and USS Normandy (CG 60) visited eight Southeast African nations. For many of these countries, it was the first time a U.S. Navy ship had visited in more than 40 years.

"For nearly four years the U.S. Navy has been actively supporting West and Central African nations in their efforts to increase maritime safety and security in their region," said Holman. "We want to provide the same kind of active support to Southeast Africa and port visits like the Ashland's to Port Louis are a great place to start."
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