Military Sealift Command-Chartered High-Speed Vessel Swift Departs Rota, Spain

Military Sealift Command-Chartered High-Speed Vessel Swift Departs Rota, Spain

The Military Sealift Command-chartered High-Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) departed Rota, Spain, after loading cargo and supplies to support the ship’s continued participation in Africa Partnership Station (APS) West 2012, July 29.

Swift spent four days in Rota onloading more than 147 pallets including various goodwill and humanitarian supplies to assist medical care in the region.

“It’s amazing to think of the impact that some of these items will have,” said Lt. Christopher Ganske, Swift’s supply officer. “We have 11,000 eyeglasses, and that’s just an example of what two pallets contain, but that holds the possibility to affect thousands of people’s lives in just Liberia alone.”

The rest of the supplies will be put to use by embarked medical personnel who will conduct medical civil action programs during outreach events in West African ports.

“I’ve never had the opportunity like this, to go into places most navy ships don’t get a chance to go and interact with the locals in a way that’s more rewarding than most routine port visits, it will be exciting to get it started,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brad Fillius, Swift’s officer in charge. “For these upcoming port visits, we’ll be successful if we can get out and maximize how much we interact with people and the community as part of APS.”

Swift will make their first APS West stop in Liberia and six other West African nations to conduct classroom knowledge exchanges with regional navies and coast guards, as well as various medical capacity engagements, community events, and diplomatic functions.

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, July 31, 2012; Image: US Navy