HSV 2 Swift completes Africa Partnership Station mission

By MSCEURAF Public Affairs

Military Sealift Command-chartered high-speed vessel Swift (HSV 2) completed a nearly 10-month deployment to the Europe and Africa areas of responsibility Jan. 31. During that time, Swift, its crew of contract mariners and a U.S. Navy detachment conducted 38 port visits to Africa and 15 to Europe, making theater security cooperation visits and supporting Africa Partnership Station 2012.

Cape Verdian coast guard members train aboard HSV 2 Swift in Mindelo.

APS is an international security cooperation initiative aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.

Swift made its final APS port visit in Mindelo, Cape Verde, in January. There, a team of U.S. Navy maritime civil affairs security training instructors completed eight days of training with Cape Verdian marines and coast guardsman aboard the ship.

The MCAST team from Dam Neck, Va., used its military skills during courses on boarding team operations and armed sentry training, and language skills as two instructors fluently communicated in Portuguese. Training included simulated boarding procedures on the Cape Verde Coast Guard patrol boat NP Guardian (P511).

“The real reward from APS was to be engaged with African host nations, meet people, get to know what issues are important to them and feel like we are making a valuable contribution to their security and economy,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Charles Eaton, officer in charge of Swift’s Blue Crew. “I think that’s probably the biggest takeaway you can have from any deployment, to feel that you made a difference in the world.”

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