Swift Officers Discuss Combating Piracy with Tanzanian Counterparts

High Speed Vessel Swift’s (HSV 2) civilian master and military detachment officer in charge discussed combating piracy and continued cooperation efforts during an office call with Tanzanian naval leadership June 26.

The office call was part of Swift’s planned 12-day port visit to Tanzania for Africa Partnership Station (APS) East 2012.

Swift’s civilian master, Capt. Rhett Mann, and military detachment officer in charge, Lt. Cmdr. Charles Eaton, met with Maj. Gen. Saidi Shaaban Omar, chief of Tanzania People’s Defense Force navy, and Col. M.S. Masanga, commander, 701 Flotilla.

The visit was a chance for both groups to discuss emerging issues that threaten maritime security as well as focus on building upon the partnership that has already developed through several years of working together.

“I visited Swift with our president two years ago and enjoyed the ship. We are familiar with the APS program, and can say it is very useful to our armed forces,” said Omar.

While in Tanzania, Swift’s crew and embarked Marines, NCIS personnel, and members of Maritime Civil Affairs and Security Training teams will conduct five separate subject matter expert (SME) exchanges during the two-week visit.

“The level of participation in the SME exchanges has been outstanding and enthusiastic. The port security familiarization has high interest here in Dar Es Salaam, so we’re going to hold it twice while here. We’re looking forward to continuing this partnership and exchange, working together with our partner nations to protect African shores,” said Eaton.

During the office visit the conversation was centered on Swift’s capabilities and the dynamics of a civilian and military crew working together, as well as how APS may help African nations confront piracy.

“We have a big sea to patrol and our main challenge is pirates. They are very tricky and they know what they’re doing,” said Masanga.

Tanzania’s navy leadership was invited to Swift for tours and the chance to continue the discussion on issues that APS can address in future visits.

“Any problem, we can solve together so that we’ll always have continued success,” said Omar.

Swift, a Military Sealift Command-chartered High Speed Vessel, is making port calls throughout Africa in support of APS and theater security cooperation (TSC) visits.

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 , June 28, 2012; Image: U.S. Navy