Africa Bound – US Coast Guard Continues Global Reach

USCG Cutter Gunnery-exerciseTwo weeks ago Coast Guard Cutter Forward set sail from its homeport in Portsmouth, Va., across the Atlantic. Under the direction of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa, Forward will conduct maritime security and safety exchanges with countries along the west coast of Africa as part of African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership mission.

“The Forward’s deployment to our neighboring continent of Africa further reinforces our service’s commitment to strengthening partnerships across the globe,” said Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker, commander of Atlantic Area. “From coast to coast and one continent to another, building partnerships helps achieve common goals around the world.”

During the three-month mission, the 270-foot medium endurance cutter and its crew will serve as the primary AMLEP platform visiting and working with such countries as Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Liberia, Guinea and Senegal in support of the Navy’s 6th Fleet. Through various activities and exchanges they will focus on offshore operations in support of the host country’s efforts to stem illicit maritime activity and bolster maritime security and safety.

Forward conducts a 76mm gun shoot while underway May 29, 2011. The crew regularly conducts training to remain proficient in case of a real emergency. Coast Guard photo by Fireman Mark Krebs.

During the next few months the crew of the Forward will share their stories with you on Coast Guard Compass – check back soon to follow their travels.

This post was originally written by LT Connie Braesch for the Coast Guard Compass blog.