APS Planning Conference Concludes in Italy

Maritime professionals from Africa, Europe, and the U.S. completed an Africa Partnership Station (APS) Annual Planning Conference at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, May 8, 2015.

The four-day conference focused on a Network of Navies approach to enhancing collaborative efforts to achieve maritime security in Africa. During the conference, attendees worked to identify capabilities necessary to achieve regional maritime security goals.

Nigeria navy Capt. Ebiobowei Zipele, commander, Multinational Maritime Coordination Center Zone E, said:

This conference brought together African nations with international partners to discuss how we can develop Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) capabilities and respond to threats in our common waters. And we identified areas where, with international assistance, we can develop the capability and capacity to improve to MDA and counter transnational crimes.

The conference provided a forum for discussion to achieve dialogue on maritime issues that affect all African nations.

Planners from participating nations took the opportunity to map out APS events for their respective nations that align with their country’s maritime strategy and overall regional framework.

Eleven Euro-Atlantic partners have committed to working under the APS program and are intricately involved in the planning process for scheduling APS activities.

APS, which began 2007 with a U.S. ship deployment to West Africa, has evolved to be an international collaborative initiative that is a continuum of efforts executed year-round using a combination of fly-away training teams, exercises and ship deployments. These activities leverage existing codes of conduct in order to foster greater interoperability in a regional context.

APS is an international security cooperation initiative aimed at enhancing maritime forces’ information sharing practices, response capabilities, and regional cooperation to improve safety and security in the waters around Africa.

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Image: US Navy