HSV2 Swift Returns to Nambia
Sailors and Marines assigned to High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) participated in a pair of community service projects during an Africa Partnership Station (APS) port visit to Namibia, May 22-23.
In two days and in two separate areas, Swift’s crew took time to build fences to protect natural resources while also taking moments to make children smile, ensuring that community engagements conducted in Namibia met the core mission of APS, to strengthen relationships and build new ones across the continent.
Members of Swift’s Military Detachment as well as embarked personnel from Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) 12.2, Security Cooperation Team 6 gathered at Dorob National Park May 22, to help build a fence that protects the breeding ground for the damara tern, a threatened local bird.
Servicemembers aided in digging holes and placing posts to construct the fence that will keep out 4-wheelers and other vehicles from disturbing the protected area.
“I think you can say that you’ve been in one of the biggest parks in Africa, and that you’ve helped here, which is something to take back to the States,” said Rob Braby, project coordinator, Namibia Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
On May 23, crewmembers participated in a “Loving Hugs” stuffed animal distribution event at Sunshine Centre for Disabled Children in Walvis Bay. Members of Naval Forces Europe Band, “Flagship” sang songs while the children and Sailors danced.
“I felt inspired, since this is the kind of stuff I wanted to do when I got in the military. I feel great to have made a positive impression on somebody,” said Master-at-arms Seaman (EXW) Nicholas Eddings, Maritime Expeditionary Squadron (MSRON) 4.
From Namibia Swift will continue to make port visits in the Southern African region, beginning with South Africa.
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.
Naval Today Staff , May 25, 2012; Image: US Navy