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Dallas, Cape Verde Complete First-Ever Law Enforcement Mission
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Dallas concluded a groundbreaking law enforcement mission on June 17, marking the first time a foreign law enforcement detachment conducted patrols and interdiction operations from a U.S. military ship in Western Africa.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Dallas concluded a groundbreaking law enforcement mission on June 17, marking the first time a foreign law enforcement detachment conducted patrols and interdiction operations from a U.S. military ship in Western Africa.

Dallas, a 378-foot cutter home ported in Charleston, S.C., is currently deployed off the coast of West and Central Africa in support of U.S. Naval Forces Europe's Africa Partnership Station (APS) initiative.

Africa Partnership Station is a U.S. Naval Forces Europe-led long-term initiative, in support of U.S. Africa Command, with a goal of enhancing maritime safety and security in West and Central Africa. The program operates with the cooperative support of a variety of military, governmental and non-governmental organizations from the U.S., Africa and Europe.

"Our operations over the last week and a half are a shining example of how sustained engagement efforts like APS assist our African partners in improving maritime safety and security competencies and capabilities," Captain Robert Wagner, Coast Guard Cutter Dallas commander said. "For the first time, we were able to build upon training provided during previous U.S. and international partner ship visits, allowing the Cape Verdean Coast Guard to practice their skills on the water while enforcing their domestic laws."

During the 12-day visit, Cape Verde Coast Guard personnel came aboard Dallas and conducted Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) familiarization activities including boarding six vessels operating in Cape Verdean waters to enforce Cape Verde law. The boardings, which were led by Cape Verde Coast Guard officers, were conducted from Dallas.

Cape Verde personnel also practiced maritime law enforcement tactical-team movements, handcuffing and personnel searching, as well as basic damage control and firefighting techniques. Immediate feedback was given to each participant regarding techniques, tactics and procedures in order to provide the most beneficial learning environment. In addition, Dallas delivered law-enforcement-boarding equipment to the Cape Verdean Coast Guard.

"This is vital training for our organization and it will serve to prepare us to better our naval squadron," Lieutenant Jose Mario Lopez Tavares, Cape Verde Coast Guard Naval Squadron communications officer said. "Right now our biggest challenge is to control the territorial seas of Cape Verde and the training and donated equipment will help us do that."

"This Operation was an unqualified success. It shows that international cooperation to enhance Cape Verde's maritime security and to protect its natural resources is in everyone's interests," Captain Phil Heyl, a U.S. Coast Guard officer assigned to the Operations Logistics Directorate of U.S. Africa Command said.
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