USS Samuel B. Roberts Departs Mozambique After Four-Day Visit


USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) departed Mozambique after a four-day goodwill port visit in support of theater security cooperation efforts in the region, Aug. 29.

During the visit, Roberts´ crew actively participated in cultural awareness and relationship-building activities with Mozambican sailors and a select few of Maputo´s children.

Sailors participated in two community service projects, one at Escola Primary school and one at the Liberdade Girls´ Shelter, planting trees at the school and clearing-out a water tower to cultivate a garden at the shelter.

¨The community service project at the girls´ shelter was the best I´ve ever participated in,¨ said Lt. Dennis Strange, ship´s administration officer.

The ship also challenged the Mozambique navy to a friendly soccer game. A jubilant Roberts team defeated the Mozambicans in a tight match, 10-9, their first win of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) East deployment.

Sailors also participated in a U.S. embassy-sponsored blood drive, providing upwards of 35 units of blood to the Maputo Central Hospital blood bank, the major contributing blood bank for the entire country of Mozambique.

Other goodwill activities included hosting a reception in honor of the U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique, Leslie V. Rowe, conducting ship tours for special visitors and hosting a media day on board.

Samuel B. Roberts Commanding Officer Cmdr. Angel Cruz said the visit was short but well worth the effort.

¨Our visit is an opportunity for our navies to learn more about each other and to share experiences,¨ said Cruz. ¨And I would be remiss not to mention that in doing so Sammy B.´s soccer team won a very close game to the Mozambique navy, and if they are up for a re-match, we will be happy to defend our winning title the next time we are in Maputo.¨

Samuel B. Roberts will continue her deployment in support of APS East with a training stop in Mauritius.

APS is an international security cooperation initiative, facilitated by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.

Source: navy, September 2, 2011;