USS Arleigh Burke visits SA

USS Arleigh Burke DDG51. (Photo:

July 13, 2009, -- The Arleigh Burke is currently visiting a number of African ports in support of the US Navy's Africa Partnership Station programme.

The US Navy and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration launched the APS off West Africa in 2007 to help African nations achieve stability and economic prosperity through civilian-military maritime mentoring as well as military-to-military training. It has since been expanded to Africa's East Coast.

The APS is designed to provide security training to participating African nations; helping them learn skills and methods to combat regional problems such as drug smuggling, piracy, illegal fishing and human trafficking.

Training teams from the ship work with partners in such areas as search and rescue; small-boat maintenance; hydrology; and visit, board, and search-and-seizure exercises, according to a US Navy news release.

SA is not part of the APS programme.

Prior to visiting Durban, the Arleigh Burke visited Mombasa, Kenya, Mauritius, Reunion and the Seychelles.

Two SA Navy frigates, the SAS Amatola (F145) and SAS Mendi (F148) are currently also in Durban. The SA Navy traditionally conducts passage exercises with visiting foreign ships to practice interoperability, navigation and related skills.

SA Navy Durban spokesman Warrant Officer Manny Gounden says the US ship will be alongside until Wednesday and will then sail for Cape Town, a trip that should take three or four days. A naval cooperation event is scheduled for Wednesday.

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