By Father Aliko

On Monday 1st August 2022 it was clearly captured by this Media house that the Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh and senior military Leaders joined Ambassador David Reimer in touring the U.S. Coastguard Cutter Mohawk. US Coast Guards In a Joint Maritime Mission With Sierra Leone Security Sector. The United States of America Coast Guards Marine sailed the shores of Freetown Port, Queen Elizabeth 11 Quay. The visiting team is in a joint diplomatic mission with the Sierra Leone security sector on robust checks on the Maritime security status of Sierra Leone which is sourced from the Sierra Leone Maritime security sector. During the inspection of the US marine at Queen Elizabeth II Quay, Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh said the US Coast Guards visit is a product of the collaborative effort between the United States and Sierra Leone to promote maritime safety and security in Sierra Leone. Dr. Juldeh Jalloh furthered that: “the visiting team will support capacity building on our maritime officials on defence and policy, including exposure to modern technics, training in policing the coast and packaging of our maritime resources.  Furthermore, Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh stated that he visited the USCGC Mohawk vessel (WMEC 913), which according to him, is in Sierra Leone as part of the bilateral cooperation between the United States and Sierra Leone in the area of maritime support and capacity building. He said enhanced capability to effectively police our coast is vital to safeguarding our maritime borders and resources while at the same time contributing to strengthening global maritime cooperation. I want to thank Cmdr. Andrew Pate and his crew for the conducted tour and wish them a productive and enjoyable mission in Sierra Leone in the coming days,” he expressed gratitude adding how their mission is a clear testimony of the outstanding partnership between the Government of Sierra Leone and the United States of America.

It must be noted that during the visit of the vessel, Mohawk will host ship tours for Sierra Leonean Government and military leaders as well as participate in discussions with fishing community members about the impact of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, including a film screening by award-winning Sierra Leonean documentarian Lansana Mansaray”.

 The United States of America Ambassador to Sierra Leone, David Reimer said the visit of the US Coast Guards to Sierra Leone is an experience shared with Sierra Leone maritime officers. He said Sierra Leone has a powerful relationship with the US Government owing to the tremendous strides made in maritime safety and security.

General Manager of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority, Dr. Abdulai Fofana said the US Coast Guards is in Sierra Leone for the first time after twenty-five (25) years. He updated that the US marines have sailed at the Freetown Port twice in a row in two consecutive weeks, which means the Freetown Port is safe for business and investment. This, he said, is not unconnected to the tremendous gains made by the Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA) including the pass of the International Ship and Port Security Facility (ISPS) code.

It was highlighted that following the port visit, Mohawk will also embark on a joint mission with officers from Sierra Leone’s Joint Maritime Committee (JMC) Joint Operations Center (JOC) and Ministry of Fisheries to protect Sierra Leonean waters.

“The U.S. Embassy is proud to welcome the USCGC Mohawk to Freetown this week,” said U.S Ambassador David Reimer. “Supporting our partners in maritime security is a vital U.S. policy priority. Cooperation on maritime security ensures not only safer and more secure oceans, but also helps safeguard Sierra Leone’s endangered marine biospheres, necessary for food security and the protection of the environment for future generations.”

“My crew and I are excited to be in Freetown,” said Cmdr. Andrew Pate, Commanding Officer of Mohawk. “One of our primary objectives during this deployment is to enhance partner nations’ capacity to operate effectively in the maritime domain and promote targeted, effective, intelligence-driven enforcement operations.”

Highlighted was that the United States and Sierra Leone have a proud history of working together to promote peace, stability, and security in Africa with cordial business relations.  In March this year, Sierra Leone participated in the exercise Obangame Express 2022, the largest annual maritime security exercise in Western Africa. These types of exercises strengthen partnerships and allow countries to work more closely on transnational maritime challenges

By Bah

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