Here’s a brief introduction to Africa Partnership Station (APS), U.S. Naval Forces Africa’s (NAVAF) flagship maritime security cooperation program. The focus of APS is to build maritime safety and security by increasing maritime awareness, response capabilities and infrastructure:
1) One major focus of APS in 2011 was the beginning of African partners taking the lead in training other APS participants.
2) APS engagement has involved over 30 African, European and South American nations, and interest to participate continues to grow.
3) APS is inspired by the belief that effective maritime security will benefit all nations and contributes to development, economic prosperity and security, and will help deter violent extremist ideology ashore.
4) Since 2007, APS has progressed from a series of bilateral port visits to a series of regional training engagements ashore and at sea.
5) APS is developing African solutions to global problems and builds upon long-standing relationships.
6) APS seeks to improve capabilities with partner naval forces using four “pillars” to increase maritime safety and security: Develop Maritime Domain Awareness—maintaining a clear picture of the maritime environment; build maritime professionals; establish maritime infrastructure; and develop response capabilities while building regional integration.
7) Djibouti, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, and Seychelles participate in exercise Cutlass Express for the first time in October 2011.
8) Through APS, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and NAVAF conduct engagement activities with international partners and governmental/non-governmental organizations to enhance African partner nations’ self sustaining capability to effectively maintain maritime security within their inland waterways, territorial waters, and exclusive economic zones.
9) African, European and North and South American partners, and non-governmental organizations share a common goal of regional prosperity, stability and peace.
10) In port for Africa Partnership Station 2012, High Speed Vessel Swift sailors recently completed their community service project at Kinondi Muslim High School in Tanzania.