Coast Guard Cutter Dallas enhances partnership and friendship with Ghana

SEKONDI, Ghana – The 378-foot Coast Guard Cutter Dallas, homeported in Charleston, S.C., concluded a successful visit to the West African nation of Ghana July 17 after a three-day visit to the city of Sekondi. The Dallas is currently deployed off the coast of West and Central Africa in support of Africa Partnership Station.

During their visit, several Dallas crewmembers teamed up with members of the Ghana Navy and National Port Police officers to train in maritime law enforcement tactics, small boat operations, search-and-rescue procedures and port-security operations.

“We are very familiar with search-and-rescue, but it was a good experience to come aboard Dallas and learn new techniques and procedures,” said Lt. Nicholas Owusu, a Ghanaian naval officer. “We would like it if we could stay aboard longer and learn more next time. We made many friends here today, and we look forward to their return.”

Dallas’ engineering personnel provided technical assistance to their Ghanaian counterparts July 16 to correct equipment casualties on board the decommissioned Coast Guard Cutters Woodrush and Sweetbriar. The vessels were transferred to the Ghana Navy in 2001 and 2002 respectfully.

“The Ghanaian Navy members were incredibly knowledgeable about the equipment on board the ship, and it was nice to share knowledge between our crews,” said Petty Officer First Class Michael Hardy, a Dallas crewmember. “I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the ship, especially the engine room. It showed how much pride they have in their work and themselves.”

In addition to the training, 11 crewmembers visited the Sekondi School for the Deaf and helped repair doors, replace screens and repaint a wall. The Dallas crew also donated several boxes of school supplies to the school.

“Our visit to Sekondi was so successful not only because were we able to build upon training provided by the USS Fort McHenry during their previous APS deployment, but it was also a tremendous opportunity for Dallas’ crew to experience the rich West Central Africa culture,” said Capt. Robert Wagner, commanding officer of Dallas. “It is only through such repetitive APS engagements, and professional and personal interactions, that our naval forces are able to build the trust and cooperation essential to establishing long-term relationships in the region.”

APS is a U.S. Naval Forces Europe-led initiative designed to increase maritime safety and security in West and Central Africa. The program operates with the cooperative support of a variety of military, governmental and non-governmental organizations from the United States, Africa and Europe.

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