US Arleigh Burke class destroyer arrives in Maputo todaySep 17, 2007
The US destroyer USS FORREST SHERMAN (DDG98) is due to arrive in the port of Maputo this morning (Monday), the first American warship in more than 30 years to visit the Mozambique capital. The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer will remain in Maputo until 21 September after which, according to unconfirmed reports, she will sail for South Africa.
The destroyer has already visited Dar es Salaam and Moroni (Comoros), becoming in the process the first USN ship to visit Tanzania and the Comoros islands in decades.
According to the US Navy, USS Forrest Sherman is part of the newly established US Southeast Africa Task Group 60.5 (CTG 60.5) and is on a ‘show the flag’ cruise with the purpose of building partnerships and promoting maritime safety and security initiatives among the respective African countries visited.
The ship has also visited Djibouti en route to East Africa.
According to one source the ship will also visit South African ports although this has not been confirmed and there has so far been no communication from the South African Navy.
During USS Forrest Sherman’s visit to Dar es Salaam which commenced on 5 September, the ship’s complement interacted with the local community as well as the Tanzanian Defence Force. Training exercises were held with Tanzanian military personnel aboard the ship and at Tanzania’s Maritime Institute.
“Strong maritime partnerships are vital to the security of a region and, ultimately, to its stability and economic development,” said CTG 60.5 Commander, Capt Nicholas H Holman, when he addressed a group of diplomats and Tanzanian government and military officials, including the Tanzanian chief of naval operations Brig Gen Said Omar, at a reception on the ship’s flight deck. “Peaceful, secure and prosperous seas are in everyone’s best interest. We look forward to building a strong partnership with Tanzania and working together to achieve this very important goal.”
USS Forrest Sherman sailed from her homeport in Norfolk on 9 July and operated in the Black Sea before heading for Southeast Africa.
Last week Maputo played host to the Portuguese frigate NRP Alvares Cabral. The ship is part of the six-ship NATO task force currently circumnavigating Africa but has made several diversions for the purpose of making special calls at Luanda and Maputo – both former Portuguese colonial ports.
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