July 8, 2019 – USNS Carson City (T-EFP 7), a Military Sealift Command Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship, arrived in Dakar, Senegal, July 6, for the first port visit of its Africa Partnership Station (APS) deployment to the Gulf of Guinea.
“I am happy to be here in here in Dakar, Senegal,” said Cmdr. Tyrone Bruce, officer in charge of the military detachment aboard Carson City. “The side-by-side engagements will strengthen the bond between the nations, allowing us to achieve greater progress through partnership.”
Task Force 63 deployed Carson City to support patrol boat maintenance and logistics training, visit, board, search and seizure engagements, and community outreach in Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Cabo Verde in order to enhance partner capability and strengthen partner networks.
The port visit marks the U.S. Navy’s second deployment to the Gulf of Guinea this year and the first of six scheduled port visits in the region with our African partners.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how the Senegalese navy operates and any adaptations they make or ways they improvise to get the job done,” said Hospitalman Chris Beller, assigned to U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, Italy. “I’m also looking forward to the different training we’re providing on at-sea care and maybe learning any medical differences between the doctors and practitioners.”
U.S. Sailors, Coast Guardsmen and international partners from Spain, Portugal and Italy are embarked and scheduled to work alongside their regional partners in the Gulf of Guinea.
The U.S. Naval Forces Europe band arrived ahead of the crew for some radio shows and, is scheduled to conduct multiple performances for the local community.
“I’m a big history guy and I’m eager to see the culture and how their country has developed since they got their independence,” said Beller. “They’re only 59 years old and have a heavy Muslim and European influence.”
During the visit, the crew and embarked military personnel of Carson City are scheduled to hold a reception for distinguished visitors and local leaders aboard the ship.
“It’s my first mission,” said Beller. “I’m excited to be on it.”
APS is U.S. Naval Forces Africa’s flagship maritime security cooperation program focusing on maritime safety and security through increased maritime awareness, response capabilities, and infrastructure. It consists of the various exercises and operations conducted by U.S., European, and African partners and allies throughout the U.S. Africa Command area of operations.