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News: APS Swift Arrives in The Gambia

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APS Swift Arrives in The Gambia Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Meaney

Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Simmons, Officer in Charge of Africa Partnership Station Swift's military detachment, The Gambia's Chief of Naval Staff, Brigadier General Sarjo Fofana, the Honorable Barry L. Wells, United States Ambassador to the Republic of The Gambia, The Gambia's Chief of Army Staff, Brigadier General Yankuba Drammeh, and Cmdr. Paul Gomes, APS Swift Mission Comander for The Gambia. Swift is in port for a brief port visit - the first such visit by the United States Navy in 15 years. While in the Gambia, APS Swift will deliver 16 pallets of Project Handclasp supplies. APS is an international initiative under U.S. Naval Forces Europe - U.S. Naval Forces Africa whose aim is to foster cooperation between the U.S., European and African partners as a way to enhance maritime safety and security on the African continent.

BANJUL, The Gambia — High Speed Vessel Swift arrived in the capital city here, Sept. 17, as part of Africa Partnership Station.

APS Swift was welcomed by Bala Garba-Jahump, The Gambia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, the United States Ambassador to the Gambia, Barry L. Wells, as well as high ranking Gambian military officials.

During remarks, Wells spoke on the importance of the visit by the U.S. Navy and APS Swift.

"Visits like this are important because they help reinforce the strong ties that already exist between our two countries. The last Navy ship visit of this magnitude was in 1994," said Wells. "The United States Navy is committed to many humanitarian assistance projects around the globe, and has, with this visit, transported donated items from 'Gambia Help' in Seattle, Wash., and medical supplies from Project Handclasp, which will be donated to the Ministry of Health."

APS Swift delivered 16 pallets of Project Handclasp supplies here.

Touching on the first such visit in 15 years, Brig. Gen.Yankuba Drammeh, Chief of The Gambian Army Staff and Brig. Gen. Sarjo Fofana, Chief of The Gambian Naval Staff welcomed the ship to the country.

"We welcome you back to the smiling coast of Africa," said Fofana. "The United States government has long provided much needed assistance and training to the Gambian military, and for that we are grateful. Thank you very much for coming."

APS is a multinational initiative under U.S. Naval Forces Europe - U.S. Naval Forces Africa, which aims to foster cooperation between the U.S., European and African partners to enhance maritime safety and security on the African continent.

Swift, homeported in Norfolk, Va., is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. The ship has supported various partnership-building operations and training throughout much of the world, including APS.

To learn more about APS visit www.c6f.navy.mil/apshome.html.


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Public Domain Mark
This work, APS Swift Arrives in The Gambia, by PO1 Daniel Meaney, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:09.18.2009

Date Posted:09.18.2009 08:37

Location:BANJUL, GMGlobe

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