News: CJTF-HOA Coalition Officers Visit SPS Galicia
SPS GALICIA, Djibouti – Five Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa coalition officers visited the Spanish Naval amphibious assault ship SPS Galicia Sept. 1 to connect with their foreign counterparts and learn the mission.
The purpose of the coalition officer ship visit is to show the importance of the missions of other military branches and to see how similar they are, said Army Spc. Melissa Ortiz, CJTF-HOA assistant coalition officer coordinator. “It's a great chance for officers of different branches of service and different countries to get together.”
The ship visit included a tour of the vessel and the chance to comingle with foreign counterparts over snacks and sodas.
At most foreign ports, the Galicia hosts visitors, according to 2nd Lt. Jorge Lens, SH-3 Sea King pilot aboard the vessel and the officers’ tour guide while aboard the ship.
“The purpose of having foreign visitors here is just to get some union between the countries and have some fun with them,” he said. “It’s all about having a good time with everybody and all the countries.”
The CJTF-HOA coalition officers who visited the ship represent Romania, Korea, Ethiopia and Mauritius. Coalition officers said they believe visits to foreign ships highlight the importance of the military mission.
“The missions are similar to the U.S. and Korean Navies,” said Lt. Cmdr. Youn, a Korean Navy logistics officer.
Even though CJTF-HOA is not directly involved in counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, the U.S. Navy and other coalition navies conduct counter-piracy missions under U.S. Navy Central Command Forces (NAVCENT) and European Union Naval Forces (EUNAVFOR).
There are currently 18 coalition officers deployed for three to 12 months to CJTF-HOA, representing countries from Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.