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Seychelles and United States Partner to Address Security Concerns
Personnel from U.S. Africa Command concluded a week-long U.S. Department of State- led survey in the Republic of Seychelles Friday to address security concerns impacting island residents. <br /> <br />The survey was requested by the Seychellois
VICTORIA, Seychelles - Craig White (right), Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy-Mauritius, holds a press conference with the Seychellois media following a meeting and discussion with the Republic of Seychelles President James Michel. White was the delegation lead for a week-long assessment team visit to the island in May 2009. The purpose of the visit was to work together with key members of the Seychellois government to strengthen security ties and explore better ways to provide protection to Seychellois residents and those who rely on passage in and around the Indian Ocean. (Photo by Major Eric Hilliard, U.S. Africa Command)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 3: VICTORIA, Seychelles - Craig White (right), Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy-Mauritius, holds a press conference with the Seychellois media following a meeting and discussion with the Republic of Seychelles President James Michel. White was the delegation lead for a week-long assessment team visit to the island in May 2009. The purpose of the visit was to work together with key members of the Seychellois government to strengthen security ties and explore better ways to provide protection to Seychellois residents and those who rely on passage in and around the Indian Ocean. (Photo by Major Eric Hilliard, U.S. Africa Command) Download full-resolution version
VICTORIA, Seychelles - U.S. Air Force Captain Mike Catalano of Air Forces Africa and 17th Air Force discusses air traffic procedures with his Seychellois counterparts during a week-long U.S. Africa Command-led assessment in May 2009. The purpose of the engagement was to determine how the U.S. government can assist the Seychellois government in increasing safety and security for residents and reducing criminal activity in the Indian Ocean. (Photo by Major Eric Hilliard, U.S. Africa Command)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 3: VICTORIA, Seychelles - U.S. Air Force Captain Mike Catalano of Air Forces Africa and 17th Air Force discusses air traffic procedures with his Seychellois counterparts during a week-long U.S. Africa Command-led assessment in May 2009. The purpose of the engagement was to determine how the U.S. government can assist the Seychellois government in increasing safety and security for residents and reducing criminal activity in the Indian Ocean. (Photo by Major Eric Hilliard, U.S. Africa Command) Download full-resolution version
VICTORIA, Seychelles - U.S. Africa Command Chief of Current Operations, Colonel Martha McSally (Left), talks with the President of the Republic of  Seychelles,  James Michel (Right), and American Embassy Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Craig White, on issues of safety, security and counter-piracy in and around the Indian Ocean.  White and McSally led an assessment team to the Seychelles after the U.S. Embassy in Mauritius received a request from the Seychellois government. The goal was to work to together with key members of the government to explore ways to provide protection to Seychellois residents and those who rely on passage in and around the Indian Ocean. (Photo by Major Eric Hilliard, U.S. Africa Command)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 3 of 3: VICTORIA, Seychelles - U.S. Africa Command Chief of Current Operations, Colonel Martha McSally (Left), talks with the President of the Republic of Seychelles, James Michel (Right), and American Embassy Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Craig White, on issues of safety, security and counter-piracy in and around the Indian Ocean. White and McSally led an assessment team to the Seychelles after the U.S. Embassy in Mauritius received a request from the Seychellois government. The goal was to work to together with key members of the government to explore ways to provide protection to Seychellois residents and those who rely on passage in and around the Indian Ocean. (Photo by Major Eric Hilliard, U.S. Africa Command) Download full-resolution version
VICTORIA, Seychelles - Craig White (right), Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy-Mauritius, holds a press conference with the Seychellois media following a meeting and discussion with the Republic of Seychelles President James Michel. White was the delegation lead for a week-long assessment team visit to the island in May 2009. The purpose of the visit was to work together with key members of the Seychellois government to strengthen security ties and explore better ways to provide protection to Seychellois residents and those who rely on passage in and around the Indian Ocean. (Photo by Major Eric Hilliard, U.S. Africa Command)
VICTORIA, Seychelles - U.S. Air Force Captain Mike Catalano of Air Forces Africa and 17th Air Force discusses air traffic procedures with his Seychellois counterparts during a week-long U.S. Africa Command-led assessment in May 2009. The purpose of the engagement was to determine how the U.S. government can assist the Seychellois government in increasing safety and security for residents and reducing criminal activity in the Indian Ocean. (Photo by Major Eric Hilliard, U.S. Africa Command)
VICTORIA, Seychelles - U.S. Africa Command Chief of Current Operations, Colonel Martha McSally (Left), talks with the President of the Republic of  Seychelles,  James Michel (Right), and American Embassy Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Craig White, on issues of safety, security and counter-piracy in and around the Indian Ocean.  White and McSally led an assessment team to the Seychelles after the U.S. Embassy in Mauritius received a request from the Seychellois government. The goal was to work to together with key members of the government to explore ways to provide protection to Seychellois residents and those who rely on passage in and around the Indian Ocean. (Photo by Major Eric Hilliard, U.S. Africa Command)
Personnel from U.S. Africa Command concluded a week-long U.S. Department of State- led survey in the Republic of Seychelles Friday to address security concerns impacting island residents.

The survey was requested by the Seychellois government through the U.S. Embassy in Mauritius and was exclusively focused on how the United States and the Seychellois government might be able to work together on issues of safety, security and potential surveillance options in and around the Indian Ocean.

The senior representative from the command was Colonel Martha McSally, U.S. AFRICOM Chief of Current Operations. During the visit, McSally and others met with the President of the Republic of Seychelles, James Michel, and others senior officials in order to get a first-hand account of what would be required to better facilitate a potential partnership.

"I truly appreciate President Michel and his senior cabinet members making time out of their day to accommodate my team. It was a very productive week and I appreciated the president's candor and openness during our meeting," McSally said. "As the Department of Defense's representative in the African Region, it is our responsibility to work with our African partners in addressing safety and security concerns as well as other issues impacting the lives of African and Island residents."

During the assessment, team members reviewed everything from airfield and air traffic control security to sanitation in local restaurants. The team also examined lodging and force protection issues for any potential U.S. members working on the island in support of a collaborative effort with the Seychellois government.

"This visit would not have been possible without the complete assistance and approval by the U.S. EMBASSY in Mauritius," McSally said. The embassy served as the overall U.S. delegation lead for the visit and remained with the U.S. Africa Command team throughout the entire assessment period.

According to McSally, when the visit was over, all sides understood that no decision had been made and that this assessment of Seychelles was the first step in working with the Seychellois to add to their overall security plan.

A final report of the visit will be submitted through the Departments of Defense and State who will make the final decision on whether or not any further planning and operational efforts will be considered.

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