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APS Swift Sailors Paint Togo Clinic
Eight Sailors from Africa Partnership Station (APS) Swift and 18 local Togolese helped paint a clinic in Lome, August 26, 2009. <br /> <br />High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2), which arrived August 24, is in port for a four-day visit in support of
Eight Sailors from Africa Partnership Station (APS) Swift and 18 local Togolese helped paint a clinic in Lome, August 26, 2009.

High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2), which arrived August 24, is in port for a four-day visit in support of APS. The clinic was one of two community relations projects carried out by the crew while in Lome.

"We believe the crew was sent by God," said Kodjo Hessou, senior pastor at the Djidjole, Lome Assembly of God (AOG) church and clinic. "We've been praying for the rehabilitation of the clinic, and the arrival of the crew with the supplies seems like the answer to those prayers."

The clinic is one of six operated throughout the country by AOG and one of three in Lome. The clinics provide free or low-cost health care and medicine for more than 10,000 Togolese annually, regardless of religious affiliation.

"The role of the church in the community is social as well as spiritual," said Hessou. "These clinics help the community and help us fulfill the social aspect of our mission. We cannot thank the crew of Swift enough. Their arrival here today has given us a boost in our energy which will help us to move forward and continue this work."

Lieutenant Commander Ronald L. Walker, officer-in-charge of Swift's military detachment, said projects like these are about meeting people and building relationships.

"Our Sailors care about people and want to get out into the community," said Walker. "Whatever trust and goodwill we build today will help us achieve our operational objective of creating maritime safety and security in the region. And that is a great added benefit to something we want to do anyway."

APS is a multinational initiative developed by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa which aims to work cooperatively with U.S. and international 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.

Swift, homeported in Norfolk, Va., is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
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