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Commander, U.S. Africa Command, Visits Island Nations of Mauritius and Seychelles
General William "Kip" Ward concluded his first visit to the island nations of Mauritius and Seychelles, August 19, 2009, where he traveled to meet with the nations' leadership to discuss future avenues of cooperation in the realm of maritime
MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - A Sister of St. Elizabeth's Orphanage accepts gifts donated by the community of Stuttgart, Germany on August 19, 2009.  Joyce Ward, wife of General Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, joined Colonel Schulyer Geller, Master Sergeant Melissa Johnston, and Jackie Solmos to unload the gifts. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
7 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 7: MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - A Sister of St. Elizabeth's Orphanage accepts gifts donated by the community of Stuttgart, Germany on August 19, 2009. Joyce Ward, wife of General Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, joined Colonel Schulyer Geller, Master Sergeant Melissa Johnston, and Jackie Solmos to unload the gifts. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command) Download full-resolution version
MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - Seychelles President James Michel meets General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, at the State House on August 19, 2009. U. S. Africa Command is working together with the government of Seychelles and other African nations to help combat the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean region. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya.  (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
7 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 7: MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - Seychelles President James Michel meets General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, at the State House on August 19, 2009. U. S. Africa Command is working together with the government of Seychelles and other African nations to help combat the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean region. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command) Download full-resolution version
MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, meets with Seychelles President James Michel and Charge d'Affaires to Seychelles Virginia Blaser on August 19, 2009 to discuss future areas of partnership.  U. S. Africa Command is working together with the government of Seychelles and other African nations to help combat the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean region. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya.  (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
7 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 3 of 7: MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, meets with Seychelles President James Michel and Charge d'Affaires to Seychelles Virginia Blaser on August 19, 2009 to discuss future areas of partnership. U. S. Africa Command is working together with the government of Seychelles and other African nations to help combat the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean region. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command) Download full-resolution version
MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - Pictured are two small boats that were recently confiscated from pirates by the government of Seychelles. General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, met with President of the Republic of Seychelles James Michel on August 19, 2009 to discuss future areas of partnership between the two nations, which coincided with a decision to operate surveillance assets out of Seychelles at some point in the future to address the maritime threats faced by the island nation. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya.  (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
7 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 4 of 7: MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - Pictured are two small boats that were recently confiscated from pirates by the government of Seychelles. General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, met with President of the Republic of Seychelles James Michel on August 19, 2009 to discuss future areas of partnership between the two nations, which coincided with a decision to operate surveillance assets out of Seychelles at some point in the future to address the maritime threats faced by the island nation. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command) Download full-resolution version
MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - Joyce Ward, wife of General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, visits children at St. Elizabeth's Orphanage in Mahe Island Seychelles, August 19, 2009, bringing donations from the Stuttgart, Germany community. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
7 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 5 of 7: MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - Joyce Ward, wife of General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, visits children at St. Elizabeth's Orphanage in Mahe Island Seychelles, August 19, 2009, bringing donations from the Stuttgart, Germany community. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command) Download full-resolution version
MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, meets with local journalists in Seychelles following a meeting with Seychelles President James Michel on August 19, 2009 to discuss future areas of partnership. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya.  (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
7 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 6 of 7: MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, meets with local journalists in Seychelles following a meeting with Seychelles President James Michel on August 19, 2009 to discuss future areas of partnership. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command) Download full-resolution version
MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, talks with students from Mont Fleuri Secondary School in Mahe Island, Seychelles on August 19, 2009.  Ward's visit to the school followed a recent community relations project conducted there by U.S. Navy Seabees. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya.  (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
7 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 7 of 7: MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, talks with students from Mont Fleuri Secondary School in Mahe Island, Seychelles on August 19, 2009. Ward's visit to the school followed a recent community relations project conducted there by U.S. Navy Seabees. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command) Download full-resolution version
MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - A Sister of St. Elizabeth's Orphanage accepts gifts donated by the community of Stuttgart, Germany on August 19, 2009.  Joyce Ward, wife of General Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, joined Colonel Schulyer Geller, Master Sergeant Melissa Johnston, and Jackie Solmos to unload the gifts. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - Seychelles President James Michel meets General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, at the State House on August 19, 2009. U. S. Africa Command is working together with the government of Seychelles and other African nations to help combat the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean region. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya.  (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, meets with Seychelles President James Michel and Charge d'Affaires to Seychelles Virginia Blaser on August 19, 2009 to discuss future areas of partnership.  U. S. Africa Command is working together with the government of Seychelles and other African nations to help combat the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean region. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya.  (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - Pictured are two small boats that were recently confiscated from pirates by the government of Seychelles. General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, met with President of the Republic of Seychelles James Michel on August 19, 2009 to discuss future areas of partnership between the two nations, which coincided with a decision to operate surveillance assets out of Seychelles at some point in the future to address the maritime threats faced by the island nation. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya.  (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - Joyce Ward, wife of General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, visits children at St. Elizabeth's Orphanage in Mahe Island Seychelles, August 19, 2009, bringing donations from the Stuttgart, Germany community. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, meets with local journalists in Seychelles following a meeting with Seychelles President James Michel on August 19, 2009 to discuss future areas of partnership. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya.  (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
MAHE ISLAND, Seychelles - General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, talks with students from Mont Fleuri Secondary School in Mahe Island, Seychelles on August 19, 2009.  Ward's visit to the school followed a recent community relations project conducted there by U.S. Navy Seabees. Ward's five-day trip included visits to the African nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya.  (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
General William "Kip" Ward concluded his first visit to the island nations of Mauritius and Seychelles, August 19, 2009, where he traveled to meet with the nations' leadership to discuss future avenues of cooperation in the realm of maritime security.

Issues discussed in both Mauritius and Seychelles included current and future opportunities for the training of defense and security forces to address maritime-borne threats; the role played by U.S. Africa Command in support of the Africa Partnership Station ship visit program; and ways in which the command can best support other security-related activities desired by the respective nations.

Following his arrival in Mauritius on August 17, the General's first meeting was with the Mauritian press at the U.S. Embassy, where he praised the island nation for its openness and tolerance. "I'm thrilled to be here in a country that is known not only for its beauty," he stated, "but for its diversity of culture, religion, and languages, as well as for the tolerant way you interact with one another. You are a role model for other African nations in that regard."

Official meetings included leadership from the Mauritius Police Commissioner's office, the National Coast Guard, and the Special Mobile Forces, as well as office calls with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Arvin Boolel, and Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam.

From Mauritius, Ward traveled to Seychelles, where his first official visit was at the State House with President of the Republic of Seychelles James Michel. On the Presidential lawn following the visit, Ward met with local journalists and discussed the command's strong partnership with Seychelles, a partnership which has resulted in a decision by the nations to operate surveillance assets out of Seychelles at some point in the future to address the maritime threats faced by the island nation.

"A committed partner -- sustained security engagement -- this is what Africa Command is all about," Ward stated at the press event. "I'm very happy to be here to demonstrate our commitment to that effort. We look forward to moving ahead together in substantial ways that will benefit the people of Seychelles as part of the global community."

During his office call with Head of Coast Guard Colonel Donald Gertrude, Ward was offered a tour of the Coast Guard facility and an opportunity to observe two pirate skiffs that had been confiscated by Seychellois forces. Following a visit to the Mont Fleuri Secondary School, Ward held an office call with Chief of Defense Forces Brigadier Leopold Payet at the Seychelles People's Defense Forces headquarters in Bel Eau.
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