Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Showing the flag

Reported as Navy destroyer makes historic African visits:
A U.S. Navy ship pulled into Tanzania this month for the first time in 40 years as the 6th Fleet continues its push for maritime security in and around African nations.

The guided missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman called on Dar es Salaam on Sept. 5 before sailing south to make another notable port visit to Moroni, Comoros, a week later, according to recent Navy press releases.

“Peaceful, secure and prosperous seas are in everyone’s best interest,” said Capt. Nicholas Holman, addressing a group of diplomats and Tanzanian government and military officials, a release stated. “We look forward to building a strong partnership with Tanzania and working together to achieve this very important goal.”

A few years ago, Naval Forces Europe/6th Fleet began a maritime security push to enhance a naval presence in African waters to the south of Europe and the Black and Caspian seas to the east.

The aim is that those nations’ militaries establish stability on their own for their respective nations, which in turn would breed stability throughout the world. If vulnerable nations can protect themselves, Navy leaders have said, the United States won’t have to.

The visit to Comoros, a nation of three islands in the Mozambique Channel between Madagascar and the east coast of Africa, marked the first time a U.S. Navy ship visited in more than 30 years.

“We look forward to partnering with Comoros and other countries in Southeast Africa to combat maritime security threats like piracy, unlawful fishing and smuggling,” Holman said in a release.

UPDATE: And more on a ship visit to the Philippines here:
While the United States continued to support the Philippines in its anti-terrorism efforts, a US Navy official denied on Sunday that the presence of a US Navy spy ship in Cebu had something to do with the conflict in the southern Philippines.

Captain Steven Lott, commanding officer of the USS Chosin, a guided missile cruiser said their presence in Cebu was for a "social visit" before leaving on Monday for their homeport in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Lott said the visit was part of the continued cooperation between the US and Philippine governments, especially to foster good relations with their local counterparts.

He said two other US navy ships have been anchored in Manila but USS Chosin, a 9,600-ton ship, chose to come to Cebu after visiting Hong Kong to meet with their counterparts in the Naval Forces Central (Navforcen), the Philippine Navy command that covered Visayas.
"Our visit here is purely a social visit. Our government is extending assistance to the Philippines especially in the war in Mindanao but our presence here has nothing to do with what's happening in Mindanao right now," he said.
Spy ship? Hardly.

But maybe this quote suggested that idea:
"What we are mostly doing is to conduct anti-terrorism activities. We do surveys on the area, tracking down other ships, submarines and see what's down there. So far in the Philippines, it has nothing to worry (about terrorist attacks)," he said.

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