27 August 2012, Sweetcrude/African Press Organization (APO), LAGOS, Nigeria – High-Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) completed a week-long visit to Lagos, Nigeria, in support of Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2012, August 24.
During the visit, Swift conducted several classroom and field training engagements with Nigerian service members, hosted a health fair, and held a reception for the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria.
Captain Richard N. Soucie, commander, Task Force 63, said that visits such as this helps to promote partnership and interoperability between African countries.
“Maritime domain awareness has been an issue at the forefront of our visits to Africa,” said Captain Soucie. “This serves as an opportunity for us to get together and work on common issues, and it’s very exciting because we have numerous people and trainers aboard Swift who interacted all week with the Nigerian people as well as the Nigerian navy.”
Terrence McCulley, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, was grateful for Swift’s arrival in Lagos, commending the crew for their partner-building training and their community outreach efforts during their visit.
“I’m delighted to have Swift in Lagos,” said McCulley. “I’d like to thank the Swift team for their efforts in demonstrating partnership between the U.S. and the Nigerian navy. They showed how effective our military can be.”
Local military officials cherished Swift’s visit as an opportunity that they hope to experience again in the future with a greater focus on U.S. Navy to Nigerian navy ties.
“This visit strengthened our relationship as we sharpened our skills and ready ourselves to turn our attention back to the sea,” said Commodore HM Babalola, Nigerian navy.
Upon leaving Nigeria, Swift will continue its APS deployment, making several more stops along the West African coast.
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.