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Nigeria Next Stop for Africa Partnership Station Nashville
The Africa Partnership Station (APS) Nashville team arrived in Lagos, Nigeria March 17, 2009 for the third African port visit of its five-month deployment. <br /> <br />The APS Nashville team includes experts in a variety of military areas and a
LAGOS, Nigeria - Nigerian Commander Enoch Bello speaks to the Nigerian media about Africa Partnership Station (APS), March 17, 2009 during a port visit to Lagos. APS is an international initiative developed by U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Naval Forces Africa which aims to work cooperatively with U. S. and international partners to improve maritime safety and security on the African continent. Nashville is focused on supporting the APS strategy in West and Central Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Bookwalter)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 3: LAGOS, Nigeria - Nigerian Commander Enoch Bello speaks to the Nigerian media about Africa Partnership Station (APS), March 17, 2009 during a port visit to Lagos. APS is an international initiative developed by U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Naval Forces Africa which aims to work cooperatively with U. S. and international partners to improve maritime safety and security on the African continent. Nashville is focused on supporting the APS strategy in West and Central Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Bookwalter) Download full-resolution version
LAGOS, Nigeria - Sailors aboard USS Nashville (LPD 13) salute the NNS Aradu (F 89) while pulling into Lagos, Nigeria March 17, 2009. Nashville is currently deployed with Africa Partnership Station (APS), an international initiative developed by U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Naval Forces Africa which aims to work cooperatively with U.S. and international partners to improve maritime safety and security in Africa. Nashville is focused on supporting the APS strategy in West and Central Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Bookwalter)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 3: LAGOS, Nigeria - Sailors aboard USS Nashville (LPD 13) salute the NNS Aradu (F 89) while pulling into Lagos, Nigeria March 17, 2009. Nashville is currently deployed with Africa Partnership Station (APS), an international initiative developed by U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Naval Forces Africa which aims to work cooperatively with U.S. and international partners to improve maritime safety and security in Africa. Nashville is focused on supporting the APS strategy in West and Central Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Bookwalter) Download full-resolution version
LAGOS, Nigeria - Captain Cindy Thebaud speaks to the Nigerian media about Africa Partnership Station (APS) March 17, 2009 during a port visit to Lagos. APS is an international initiative developed by U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Naval Forces Africa which aims to work cooperatively with U. S. and international partners to improve maritime safety and security on the African continent. Nashville is focused on supporting the APS strategy in West and Central Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Bookwalter)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 3 of 3: LAGOS, Nigeria - Captain Cindy Thebaud speaks to the Nigerian media about Africa Partnership Station (APS) March 17, 2009 during a port visit to Lagos. APS is an international initiative developed by U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Naval Forces Africa which aims to work cooperatively with U. S. and international partners to improve maritime safety and security on the African continent. Nashville is focused on supporting the APS strategy in West and Central Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Bookwalter) Download full-resolution version
LAGOS, Nigeria - Nigerian Commander Enoch Bello speaks to the Nigerian media about Africa Partnership Station (APS), March 17, 2009 during a port visit to Lagos. APS is an international initiative developed by U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Naval Forces Africa which aims to work cooperatively with U. S. and international partners to improve maritime safety and security on the African continent. Nashville is focused on supporting the APS strategy in West and Central Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Bookwalter)
LAGOS, Nigeria - Sailors aboard USS Nashville (LPD 13) salute the NNS Aradu (F 89) while pulling into Lagos, Nigeria March 17, 2009. Nashville is currently deployed with Africa Partnership Station (APS), an international initiative developed by U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Naval Forces Africa which aims to work cooperatively with U.S. and international partners to improve maritime safety and security in Africa. Nashville is focused on supporting the APS strategy in West and Central Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Bookwalter)
LAGOS, Nigeria - Captain Cindy Thebaud speaks to the Nigerian media about Africa Partnership Station (APS) March 17, 2009 during a port visit to Lagos. APS is an international initiative developed by U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Naval Forces Africa which aims to work cooperatively with U. S. and international partners to improve maritime safety and security on the African continent. Nashville is focused on supporting the APS strategy in West and Central Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Bookwalter)
The Africa Partnership Station (APS) Nashville team arrived in Lagos, Nigeria March 17, 2009 for the third African port visit of its five-month deployment.

The APS Nashville team includes experts in a variety of military areas and a handful of civilian fields such as fisheries management and environmental stewardship.

"I am very happy to be back in Lagos," Captain Cindy Thebaud said, "and very much looking forward to continuing to partner with our Nigerian colleagues on maritime safety and security issues. The three Nigerian Navy officers on our staff have been of huge benefit in preparing for this visit, and the hospitality of the Nigerian Navy upon our arrival has been wonderful."

APS Nashville focuses on traditional mariner training in areas such as engineering maintenance, small boat handling, and shipboard medicine and damage control, but also conducts workshops and seminars pertaining to variety of specialty skills, all of which fit into the goal of enhancing maritime safety and security along the coast of West and Central Africa. Those training sessions, developed in collaboration with Nigerian officials, are the most important aspect of the APS deployment, said Nigeria Navy Commander Enoch Bello, the APS deputy for maritime engagement.

"We are very happy to bring APS to back to Nigeria," Bello said. "This international program allows us the opportunity to select the training we receive, so there is no doubt that what we are going to do here will be helpful to us. The training will make our sailors more knowable and skilled in their jobs within our Navy."

The Nigeria port stop comes immediately after a successful training period in Sekondi, Ghana. In Ghana, more than 160 military and civilians trainees from Cape Verde, Ghana and Mozambique embarked the Norfolk-based Amphibious Transport Dock for instruction on search and rescue procedures, maritime law, small boat maintenance and intelligence procedures.

Thebaud believes her team can reap similar results in Lagos.

"The activities here in Lagos will cover a broad spectrum," said Thebaud, "ranging from a joint Nigerian-U.S. hydrography project to workshops on fisheries enforcement led by an Italian Coast Guard team that is part of the APS mission to dive medicine training for Navy divers. With the backgrounds and experiences of the various officers from the 19 different countries, including nine from West and Central Africa, that comprise the APS mission, the opportunities for multi-national collaboration are endless."

Thebaud, the commodore of Africa Partnership Station Nashville, leads an international staff of naval officers from four different continents, including Bello and two other Nigerian navy officers. The international staff is in addition to the Nashville's crew, commanded by Captain Tushar Tembe.

For Tembe's crew, APS represents the ship's last deployment, with decommissioning slated for September. "I can think of no better way for our ship to serve on its final mission," Tembe said.

APS is an international initiative under the auspices of Naval Forces Africa which aims to work cooperatively with U.S., European and African partners to enhance maritime safety and security on the African continent. APS provides a unique venue to align maritime engagements by utilizing an international team of expert trainers in a variety of military capacities and civilian fields such as fisheries management, port security and meteorology.
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