USS EMORY S. LAND (AS 39), At sea — Sailors from USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) completed their first port visit Feb. 7-9 in Douala, Cameroon, as part of a deployment to the Gulf of Guinea.
About 1,400 Sailors and Marines are participating in the 2005 Gulf of Guinea deployment to enhance security cooperation between the United States and participating Gulf of Guinea nations. Since the deployment began Jan. 25, instructors and Sailors representing the countries of Cameroon, Sao Tome, Gabon, Ghana, Benin as well as Sailors onboard the Emory S. Land, shared more than 1,000 hours of cooperative training experiences ranging from navigation and seamanship, search and rescue, antiterrorism force protection, and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.
During the three day visit to Cameroon, Sailors from the Emory S. Land completed consulting work with the Cameroonian Navy as well as several community relations projects.
The Emory S. Land's repair department provided 20 senior personnel ashore for two days providing technical assistance to help the Cameroon Navy troubleshoot repair needs for patrol craft, jet drives, diesel fuel systems, air conditioning systems and various electrical systems. On-the-job training was provided in machining, welding, weld inspection, motor rewind, safety, quality assurance, and maintenance management.
Also, craftsmen onboard the Emory S. Land remanufactured 10 hand-pedal tricycles, rebuilding the frames, manufacturing new handles and axles, and making new seat cushions. One tricycle was built new due to the extensive degradation of the one provided for repair. Eleven conventional wheelchairs were also repaired by fixing the frames and providing new canvases for the seats and backs.
Another project ashore included painting 12 tables and 40 chairs at a local school in Douala.
As an added bonus, five Emory S. Land soccer team members went ashore to conduct a soccer clinic with Cameroon children. More than 500 kids and 50 adults were on hand as Sailors teamed up with the Cameroonian children in a soccer scrimmage.
With training opportunities remaining, many African nation participants, including some members of the Cameroonian Navy onboard the Emory S. Land, will continue to contribute and gain experiences from the training evolutions underway during the ship's Gulf of Guinea deployment.