News: Swift, NAVEUR band entertain children at Pointe Noire orphanage
By Ensign Joe Keiley
High-Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) Public Affairs
POINTE NOIRE, Republic of Congo – Sailors from High-Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) and two musicians from the U.S. Naval Forces Europe rock band “Flagship,” visited the Espace Enfants orphanage in Pointe Noire in support of Africa Partnership Station 2012, May 17.
Sailors spent time playing and dancing with the children while the musician’s entertained by playing classic rock songs.
Caregivers at the orphanage were pleased with the time the sailors spent with the children.
“Through the performance given by our friends, we have discovered a new universe, a new element, a new side of a U.S. Navy ship.” said Josue Ntelo, director of Espace Enfants. “The children were happy to know that on board a ship there is a combination of many things, work, pleasure, and relaxation and today they really found out about that.”
The musicians expressed that visits like this reach the hearts of the locals in a unique way.
“We’re able to interact with the people in a way that’s different from our Sailors that teach basic damage control or security techniques,” said Musician 1st Class Robert Collier, Flagship guitarist. “This leaves an impression with them that says there is more to the Navy than just training.”
After listening to the music, the orphanage director presented the band members with a book of art work and writings created by the children. The sailors gave the children stuffed animals.
“It’s really touching that children will grow up and look back and think fondly of the Navy,” said Musician 2nd Class Kori Gillis, Flagship vocalist. “I’m really proud to serve my country in that capacity.”
Swift will continue to visit ports in Africa as it supports APS. APS is an international security cooperation initiative, facilitated by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.