US Navy to help build Ghana’s capacity in fighting piracy, drug trade at sea

The Africa Partnership Station (APS), has reiterated its commitment towards building the capacity of the Ghana Navy to combat piracy, poaching, smuggling and illegal drug trade on the country’s maritime domain.

The APS is an international initiative by the United States Navy aimed at collaborating and strengthening the capacity of coastal guards of Africa, South America and European countries in ensuring maritime safety and security.

The Mission Commander, Lieutenant Commander Brad Fillius, on Wednesday led a military cum civilian crew on board High Speed Vessel (HSV-2) to the Western Naval Command in Sekondi to undertake refresher courses for the Navy.

The Mission Commander said the APS was motivated by the belief that effective maritime security and safety would contribute to the socio-economic development of beneficiary countries, especially Africa.

The primary goal of the mission is information sharing with naval personnel and civilians in the Southern region including Europe, Africa, Caribbean and Latin American countries.

The Civilian Captain of the HSV-2, Captain Rhette Mann, said the APS also undertakes humanitarian and disaster relief services as part of its mission.

He said the Haiti earthquake disaster that claimed thousands of lives on the Caribbean Island, was an instance of such humanitarian effort saying it offered medical supplies and administered health care services to the affected people.

Most of the assistance comes from charitable organisations and philanthropists in the US and we subsequently provide humanitarian support to non-governmental organizations, orphanages and churches around the world, he said.

The APS mission had been in existence since 2008 and had toured many African countries including Congo, Cameroon, Liberia, South Africa, Benin, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and others.

The APS vessel that arrived at the Sekondi Naval Base on Sunday departs from the shores of Ghana to Nigeria at the weekend.

Source: GNA

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