Maritime professionals from Africa, Europe, and the U.S. began a 3-day conference aimed to enhance collaborative efforts to achieve maritime security in Africa, Sept. 15.
The Africa Partnership Station (APS) Annual Planning Conference aims to align individual African nation maritime security goals, APS training opportunities, and comprehensive regional standards.
The conference is scheduled to include briefs by partner nations and face-to-face planning to schedule capacity-building training, engagements, and operational opportunities for the next year and beyond.
“APS is all about collaboration. It’s about working together, whether it’s across the continent or across the room,” said Capt. Marc S. Lederer, Africa Engagement Director for U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa. “The idea behind APS is to coordinate and collaborate between nations to promote maritime safety and security.”
APS, which began 2007 with a U.S. ship deployment to West Africa, has evolved to be an international collaborative process that is a continuum of efforts executed year-round using a combination of fly-away training teams, exercises and ship deployments.
Planners from U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, which facilitates the program, are working toward a greater evolution of the program through increased integration of Africa partner nations’ maritime forces into maritime security capacity building events.
“Our outlook for APS, at present, is to move from simply tactical training and familiarization efforts to the operational and strategic phases of our collective efforts,” said Lt. Cmdr. Benjamin Selph, APS Lead Planner. “With increased involvement at the higher levels of a maritime force, it leads to improved responses to maritime threats.”
Countries participating in the conference include Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Denmark, Ghana, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, Togo, United Kingdom and United States.