USS Emory S. Land pulls pier-side in Port Gentil, Gabon

USS EMORY S. LAND (AS 39), At sea — The USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) arrived pier-side in Port Gentil, Gabon, Feb. 15, for its second port visit as part of the ongoing Gulf of Guinea deployment.

This arrival will be followed by a short visit to Gabon's capital of Libreville.

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, have shared more than 1,000 hours of cooperative training experiences ranging from navigation and seamanship, search and rescue, antiterrorism force protection, and HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention.

During the three-day visit to Port Gentil, Sailors from the Emory S. Land will complete consulting work with the Gabon Navy as well as several community relations projects.

Sailors from the Emory S. Land's Repair department will go ashore to provide technical assistance to help the Gabon Navy assess the material condition of the vessels that need repair.

Other projects planned while in port include evaluating a local school for repair and painting.

Staff Chaplain Navy Lt. Cmdr. Emile Moured said the projects in Cameroon were very successful, and he is looking forward to upcoming projects in Gabon.

"We are excited about this unique opportunity to represent our country and help out," Moured said.

Emory S. Land Sailors will also participate in several local soccer games. And local and nation media will come aboard for a press tour.

In addition, about 75 Gabonese Navy personnel and their family members will participate in Gabon Navy Family Day aboard the Emory S. Land.

The Emory S. Land's Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department is offering several opportunities for Sailors to shop in the local community as well as trips to the beach and golf course.

With many training opportunities remaining, many African nation participants, including some members of the Gabon Navy on board the Emory S. Land, will continue to contribute and gain experiences from the training evolutions in port and under way during the ship's Gulf of Guinea deployment.

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