The African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP) program enables African partner nations to build maritime security capacity and improve management of their maritime environment through real world combined maritime law enforcement operations.
AMLEP is a five-phased program. The five phases are: Phase Zero – Legal Risk Assessments; Phase One – Training; Phase Two – Exercises; Phase Three – Operations; and Phase Four – Sustainment. This program enables African partner nations to build maritime security capacity and improve management of their maritime environment through real world combined maritime law enforcement operations.
Typically, the operational phase OPERATION JUNCTION RAIN employs an African host nation’s own law enforcement boarding team, along with a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement boarding team operating from a U.S. or Partner Nation’s Maritime Asset. During this operation, the U.S. teams will act in an accompany, advise & assist role to the host nation’s teams while conducting At-Seaboardings. These boardings will consist of identifying a target of interest i.e. suspected vessel carrying narcotics; employ small boats with teams aboard; direct suspect vessel to stop; and boarding teams will embark vessel to investigate. During this inspection, the host nation teams will review documentation, search for suspected illicit activity, and enforce maritime law pertaining to the respective host nation’s authorities & jurisdiction.
AMLEP directly supports the AFRICOM’s Campaign Plan Lines of Effort to Counter Illicit Trafficking and to improve overall Maritime Security. These efforts include countering human, weapons, and drug trafficking, maritime pollution, oil bunkering, piracy/kidnapping, and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
Many of these African coastal nations rely on fishing for food and as a significant contributor of revenue and jobs to local economies. IUU fishing, along with the other illicit activities that take place in African waters negatively impact the nation’s economy, and directly contributes to instability throughout the Gulf of Guinea region.