News: APS Arleigh Burke Conducts Exercises at Sea with Mauritius
USS ARLEIGH BURKE, Indian Ocean - Africa Partnership Station USS Arleigh Burke got underway, Aug 3, from Port Louis, Mauritius, to conduct visit, board, search and seizure operations with Mauritius Nation Coast Guard.
The exercise is the conclusion to training that started, July 30, when APS Arleigh Burke pulled into Port Louis. While in port the crew conducted a wide rage of ship board training with MNCG, but put their main focus on VBSS operations.
"Our goal is to give Mauritius the capability to do both non-compliant and apposed boardings," said Ensign Tyson Meadors, force protection officer aboard APS Arleigh Burke. "Until recently they have only done compliant boards, boarding vessels to checking cargo and paper work like custom agents. That is fine for most coast guards, but MNCG realizes that as their import and export increases there is going to be more potential for violent situations that they are not prepared to handle."
While in port the APS crew trained two separate boarding teams on various aspects of VBSS like; climbing rope ladders, setting up a security bubble, and tactically maneuvering around a large vessels.
At sea the teams were evaluated on their ability to utilize VBSS training they have received in port.
Both teams were transported to APS Arleigh Burke via MNCG small boats and boarded APS Arleigh Burke separately as APS crew members observed and helped to direct them through a non-compliant boarding.
"The training we received here today is very helpful for our coast guard," said MNCG police inspector Jean Stephen Bothille. "Our barding teams have only recently been formed, in the last six months, and many of them have never even boarded a vessel before."
Bothille also added MNCG boarding teams have received some VBSS training in the past, but none of his boarding team members has boarded a ship as large as Arleigh Burke and that this training will help MNCG combat many threats of piracy in the Indian Ocean.
"The training I received here was very different from what I have received in the past." said police constable Aldo Anna, MNCG boarding team member. "Arleigh Burke taught me to keep every thing very simple, and that was very helpful for me. They also taught me team movements and how to utilize concealment and to communicate with my boarding team members. With this training and training we have received in the past we will really be able to complete our missions."
APS Arleigh Burke also conducted flight deck operations MNCG French built Alouett — III type helicopter and search and rescue maneuvers with MNCG Ships Guardian, Rescuer, and Retriever.
APS is a multinational initiative under the auspices of U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa which is designed to work cooperatively with U.S., South American, European and African partners to enhance maritime safety and security on the African continent. It is a concept that provides a unique venue to align maritime engagements by employing a diverse team of maritime professionals in a variety of military capacities and civilian fields such as fisheries management, port security and meteorology.
Arleigh Burke, a guided missile destroyer homeported in Norfolk, Va., is the second APS platform to visit South and East Africa, and recently conducted theater security cooperation's with partners in Djibouti, Seychelles, Kenya and South Africa.