Sierra Leone Telegraph: 02 August 2022:
The USCGC Mohawk arrived in Freetown last weekend for a scheduled port visit. During the visit, Mohawk has received Sierra Leone government officials onboard – including vice president Juldeh Jalloh and military leaders.
US naval officers will hold discussions with fishing communities about the impact of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, including a film screening by award-winning Sierra Leonean journalist Lansana Mansaray.
“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 safeguards 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.”
Following this port visit, Mohawk will embark on a joint mission with officers from Sierra Leone’s Joint Maritime Committee’s (JMC) Joint Operations Center (JOC) and Ministry of Fisheries to protect Sierra Leonean waters.
The United States and Sierra Leone have a proud history of working together to promote peace, stability, and security in Africa.
In March, Sierra Leone participated in 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, including trafficking of narcotics.
The U.S. shares a common interest with African partner nations in ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation on the waters surrounding the continent. These waters are critical for Africa’s prosperity and access to global markets.