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06.07.2005 General News

US Ship, CGCB docks at Tema Port

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Tema, July 06, GNA -- A United States Coast Guard ship, USCGC Bear, has arrived at the Tema Port for a four-day good will visit to undertake security training with the Ghanaian military. The 100-member crew is on Theatre Security Cooperation (TSC) engagements as part of their 2005 deployment in the US Sixth Fleet area of operation.

TSC engagements primarily focused on North Africa and the Gulf of Guinea area and are designed to foster mutual commitments to regional stability, advance multinational interoperability and deter potential adversaries.

Briefing the press, Commander Brendan Mc Pherson, Executive Officer on board the vessel, said the crew would conduct joint training exercises with the Army, and take time off to know the cultural opportunities available in the country.

He mentioned visual communication (signalling), damage control training, Coast Guard operation, manoeuvring with ship among others as some of the training exercises they will be going through. He said two boats and a helicopter are on board the vessel to be used for the training exercises.

Commander Mc Pherson said the USCGC Bear, since it was commissioned in 1983, has been active in a number of activities including alien migrant and drug interdiction operations. In 1990 it seized 80 tons of marijuana from a merchant ship, marking the largest marijuana interdiction in history during which 14 smugglers were arrested.

"The largest cocaine interdiction was in January 2005 when it employed warning shots to stop a go-fast vessel with more than 4000 lbs of cocaine with the use of Stingray Helicopter". He said USCGC Bear recently completed visits to Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Cape Verde where the ship and crew conducted exercises.