Contact Us Press Releases AFRICOM Portal
Senegalese, Spanish and U.S. Ships Work Together to Train African Sailors
African sailors received daily training across the decks of three partner country ships from Senegal, Spain, and the United States April 17-20, 2010, as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) West. <br /> <br />The daily at-sea training was
ATLANTIC OCEAN - Sailors aboard the Spanish navy Servola-class offshore patrol vessel SPS Centinela (P 72), conduct flight deck firefighting training with a group of African sailors from Africa Partnership Station Gunston Hall (LSD 44) as part of a cross deck training exercise with ships from Senegal, Spain, and the United States April 19, 2010. The African sailors received a tour of the Spanish ship and a full day of training in basic first aid, joint maneuvering drills, damage control, and weapons familiarization and observed a connected replenishment at sea before returning to Gunston Hall. Gunston Hall is on a scheduled deployment in West Africa in support of APS West, an international initiative developed by Naval Forces Europe - Africa that aims to improve maritime safety and security in Africa. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Gary Keen) 
See more photos from this event at://www.flickr.com/photos/africom/page2/.
1 photo: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 1: ATLANTIC OCEAN - Sailors aboard the Spanish navy Servola-class offshore patrol vessel SPS Centinela (P 72), conduct flight deck firefighting training with a group of African sailors from Africa Partnership Station Gunston Hall (LSD 44) as part of a cross deck training exercise with ships from Senegal, Spain, and the United States April 19, 2010. The African sailors received a tour of the Spanish ship and a full day of training in basic first aid, joint maneuvering drills, damage control, and weapons familiarization and observed a connected replenishment at sea before returning to Gunston Hall. Gunston Hall is on a scheduled deployment in West Africa in support of APS West, an international initiative developed by Naval Forces Europe - Africa that aims to improve maritime safety and security in Africa. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Gary Keen) See more photos from this event at://www.flickr.com/photos/africom/page2/. Download full-resolution version
African sailors received daily training across the decks of three partner country ships from Senegal, Spain, and the United States April 17-20, 2010, as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) West.

The daily at-sea training was conducted aboard the Spanish navy ship ESPS Centinela (P 72), Senegalese navy ship Poponguine and USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44).

"One navy cannot do it alone," said Spanish navy Lieutenant Commander Mariano E. Romero, commanding officer of Centinela. "In a time like this when maritime safety and security is so vital, it is important that we work together to support other navies. Collaborative training is paramount in order to integrate all navies and receive a good picture of what is happening at sea."

The majority of the joint training was conducted aboard Centinela, with 23 embarked African sailors from Gunston Hall receiving specialized training in basic first aid, joint maneuvering drills, damage control, weapons familiarization and connected replenishments at sea.

"We gave them the same type of training we conduct with our sailors every day," said Spanish navy Lieutenant Francicso Martinez, second in command and training officer aboard Centinela. "The African sailors had such a great attitude towards training; it made the whole effort a great experience. The U.S. Navy does a great job at training, but it is important that African sailors are able to see how other navies operate."

Sailors from different groups returned each day with similar stories of enlightenments and camaraderie.

"The Spanish ship is much smaller than Gunston Hall. They had less equipment, but that was good because it was like training on one of our Togolese navy ships," said Togolese navy Chief Petty Officer Kpomgbe Kouessan.

"I learned a lot about flight deck firefighting," said Tanzanian navy Sergeant Geoffey Kimimb. "This was my first time receiving flight deck firefighting training. It was very interesting. The people on board were very polite, just like the U.S Navy Sailors from Gunston Hall."

Aside from the daily training, African sailors from Poponguine conducted visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) drills aboard Centinela and Gunston Hall.

"The training was very helpfully and I learned a lot," said Senegalese navy Chief Petty Officer Ibrahima Niang, VBSS team leader. "There were many differences in boarding the two ships, but mostly it was the size. Accessing the Spanish ship was much easier because it was small. Gunston Hall helped us understand the difficulties of boarding a large ship. Climbing a ladder, navigating through passageways to find your way around is much more challenging on a large ship. You really have to be prepared."

Niang said APS provides training that his navy needs.

"All the countries that participate in APS receive a lot of useful training," said Niang. "This is especially true for the Senegalese navy because we do not get many training opportunities like this. I hope this is something we can repeat every year."

Gunston Hall, a Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock-landing ship, is on a scheduled deployment in West and Central Africa in support of APS West, an international initiative developed by Naval Forces Europe-Africa that aims to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.
PARTNERSHIPS OPERATIONS READINESS