The three-day initial planning conference for Africa Partnership Station took place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Feb. 11-13.
The primary operational elements of APS include international partner missions conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, and U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, with African navies and coast guards.
“International partner participation is absolutely vital to increase the quantity and quality of underway operational training opportunities with our African partners,” said Rear Adm. John “Chris” Sadler, director of the maritime partnership program for U.S Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet. “When it comes to international cooperation, I believe Africa Partnership Station is the gold standard by which all other programs are measured.”
The high standards set by participating partner nations are improved by the continuation of dialogue by planning future goals and objectives for APS.
“Long before APS, Cameroon had a good record of maritime security cooperation with NATO-member countries,” said Cameroonian navy Lt. Cmdr. Sone Ngogne. “But APS has brought a new dynamic to this cooperation in the increasingly high-stakes Gulf of Guinea region.”
APS is U.S. Naval Forces Africa’s flagship maritime security cooperation program. The focus of APS is to build maritime safety and security by increasing maritime awareness, response capabilities and infrastructure. The first official APS mission deployed in November of 2007.
Naval Today Staff, February 14, 2013; Image: US Navy