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USS Nashville Arrives in Rota, Spain, Preparing for Africa Partnership Station
USS Nashville (LPD 13), along with its embarked Africa Partnership Station staff, arrived in Rota, Spain, January 25, 2009 after a 10-day transit across the Atlantic Ocean, beginning in Norfolk, Virginia.<br />
USS NASVILLE, At sea - Corporal Thomas Sahagun looks out over Norfolk, Virginia during the USS Nashville's departure for West Africa, January 15, 2009, in support of Africa Partnership Station (APS). APS, a security cooperation initiative between U.S. forces and various nations in the Gulf of Guinea provides support to participating African nations in building maritime safety and security.  (Photo by Sergeant Elsa M. Portillo, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe/Africa)
1 photo: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 1: USS NASVILLE, At sea - Corporal Thomas Sahagun looks out over Norfolk, Virginia during the USS Nashville's departure for West Africa, January 15, 2009, in support of Africa Partnership Station (APS). APS, a security cooperation initiative between U.S. forces and various nations in the Gulf of Guinea provides support to participating African nations in building maritime safety and security. (Photo by Sergeant Elsa M. Portillo, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe/Africa) Download full-resolution version
USS Nashville (LPD 13), along with its embarked Africa Partnership Station staff, arrived in Rota, Spain, January 25, 2009 after a 10-day transit across the Atlantic Ocean, beginning in Norfolk, Virginia.



Nashville is serving as the flagship for African Partnership Station (APS) 2009, an international initiative designed by Naval Forces Europe and Naval Forces Africa to foster enhanced maritime safety and security in west and central Africa. After the visit to Rota, the APS team will depart for its first African port visit in Dakar, Senegal.



"Making port in Rota, Spain, is not only critical for on-loading APS mission materials, but also to our Spanish Navy partners who are joining our international staff to assist our efforts in Senegal and beyond," said Captain Cindy Thebaud, commander of Africa Partnership Station.



The stop in Rota is a chance to give the ship and its crew a chance to restock supplies before heading down to the coast of West Africa.



Nashville Commanding Officer Captain Tushar Tembe is excited for the opportunity for his crew to visit the historic port.



"This crew will be hard charging Africa Partnership Station Mission for the next three months," he said. "For them to take a few days off, to relax and enjoy the sights is important. I have no doubt that Naval Station Rota will provide outstanding service in preparing this ship for our APS deployment."



Re-supplying the ship isn't the only thing Nashville Sailors will be doing. The stop in the Spain will also give APS Sailors time to relax and to take in some of the heritage Rota has to offer.



"Visiting Rota for first time will be a very exciting experience for me," said Gunner's Mate 1st Class Benjamin West. "I plan to take in the sights and try the food Spain has to offer, but more importantly, I want to relax and visit the exchange so I can stock up on supplies before heading to West Africa."



Besides Senegal, the APS team will make port calls in four other West African countries--Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon. APS training will include professional exchanges on seamanship, environmental stewardship, fisheries management and maritime awareness, along with numerous humanitarian and civic outreach opportunities.



For more information on Africa Partnership Station, visit http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=2510.

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