US Navy Frigate Departs Mauritius


USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) departed Mauritius after an eight-day goodwill port visit as part of their involvement with Africa Partnership Station (APS) East’s hub, Sept. 12.

The visit featured on board classroom training in critical shipboard areas of damage control and fire fighting, search and rescue planning and electrical maintenance.

A two-day community service project at a children’s school and a soccer match with the Mauritius coast guard also took place. Other goodwill activities included co-hosting a reception on board ship with Chargé d´Affaires Troy Fitrell of the U.S. Embassy in Port Louis, Mauritius; conducting ship tours for special visitors; and hosting a media day on board.

The visit concluded with an at-sea evolution during the final day, which incorporated a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) communications and helicopter exercise with the Mauritius Police Force Coast Guard.

During the reception on board Roberts, Fitrell said he was thankful to the Roberts crew for their visit.

We greatly appreciate the Roberts coming here,” said Fitrell. “This visit greatly expands our own engagement with the host country, and it develops the skills and abilities of the Mauritius Police Force Coast Guard to conduct their operations, especially in counter-piracy.”

Fitrell, whose father was in the Navy, also said the Roberts visit was important not just for tactical reasons, but for cultural relations as well.

“More than anything, separate from the training, the fact that the crew is out there engaging on a day-to-day basis, even socially on the island, helps present a view of the United States to the Mauritian people that is different from any other source,” said Fitrell.

The visit to Mauritius marked Roberts´ fifth East African port visit in the past eight weeks. The other stops were in Mombasa, Kenya; Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; Victoria, Seychelles; and Maputo, Mozambique.

Samuel B. Roberts is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate that is homeported in Naval Station Mayport, Fla., and is currently on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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 13, 2011