News: Navy Reserves Work With Mauritanian Army And Navy
By Africa Partnership Station
PITTSBURGH, U.S. - Three Pennsylvan Navy reservists recently returned home from a four day goodwill mission to Mauritania, Africa, where they gave CPR and basic first aid training to recruits in the Mauritanian army and worked with elements of the Mauritanian fleet as part of the U.S. Navy's Maritime Partnership Program and the larger Africa Partnership Program taking place in the region.
Captain Greg Miller, Lt. Commander Matt Hersch and Petty Officer Wayne Vlasic are based in Pittsburg and assigned to support the Maritime Partnership Program – a recently initiated program where Navy reservists are deployed to countries in the Gulf of Guinea, Black Sea and Caspian Sea regions. Their mission is one of cooperation and humanitarian aid, helping build local maritime security and protecting natural resources such as oil, gas and fishing.
According to Captain Miller, "This is an important mission. We're building trust, understanding and great relationships. If friendship helps win the global war on terrorism, and I think does, then I can definitely say this trip was a complete success."
Lt. Cmdr. Hersch explained how he and the captain helped the Mauritanian Navy.
"Working through the Mauritanian chief of naval operations and minister of defense we helped troubleshoot a problem they, (the Mauritanian navy), were having with a computer based maritime surveillance system. The system is an Allied Information System – an AIS. Fortunately, the captain and I are very familiar with this particular system and were able to work the kinks out – they appreciated it and we were glad to help."
The Pennsylvania natives are home now – following the 17 hour return flight - but the seeds of cooperation and partnership remain, firmly planted in the fertile soil of western Africa.