Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus concluded a visit to Leon M’ba, Gabon, Aug. 19.
Mabus met with various government and military officials to discuss maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and other areas of mutual concern such as piracy, transnational crime, and regional security.
“Our Sailors and Marines have a history of working together to build solutions to shared problems,” said Mabus. “A continued, and more complex partnership, through exercises, training, and personnel exchanges are important now and will remain so in the future.”
Among those meeting with Mabus in Gabon were President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba, Minister of Defense Pacome Rufin Ondzounga, Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Jean-Claude Ella Ekogha and Chief of Navy Rear Adm. Yves Keba-Malekou.
“I am very glad to have been here on Gabon’s National Day, to be part of their country’s celebration. Gabon continues to be a leader in the region and has demonstrated a commitment to protect its economy and extraordinary natural heritage. They have asked to be partners, and so strengthening that partnership is one of the most significant things we can do,” said Mabus.
Mabus’ visit, part of a multinational tour meant to reinforce existing relationships with African countries, represents a continuation of the Department of the Navy’s focus on building partnerships designed to help distribute the burden of securing the global maritime domain based on alliances, shared values and mutual trust.
Press Release, August 20, 2013; Image: US Navy