Professionals Gather for APS Annual Conference
- Director, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-AfricaU.S. 6th Fleet, provides remarks at the Africa Partnership Station (APS) Annual Planning Conference at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, May 5, 2015
- The conference aims to align individual African nation maritime security goals, APS training opportunities, and comprehensive regional standards. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel P. Schuma
Maritime professionals from Africa, Europe, and the U.S. began a 4-day conference aimed to enhance collaborative efforts to achieve maritime security in Africa, May 5.
The Africa Partnership Station (APS) Annual Planning Conference aims to identify capabilities necessary to achieve regional maritime security goals and in turn schedule APS training opportunities.
Capt. John Ries, Africa Engagement Director, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet commented, "“APS has transitioned from the idea of a single vessel to an international partnership owned by all of us. This program has progressed every year as the number of partners grows. As we begin this conference, I would challenge all of you to think about where we want to be together ten years from now.”
The conference provides a forum for discussion to achieve dialogue on maritime issues that affect all African nations.
Planners from participating nations will have 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.
Countries participating in the conference include Angola, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Denmark, France, Gabon, Ghana, Italy, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, The Netherlands, Norway, Nigeria, Portugal, Republic or Congo, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Spain, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Togo, United Kingdom and United States. Additionally, there are representatives from Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
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.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.