Mission to Africa – Liberia

Post Written by Petty Officer 3rd Class Victoria Bonk

Cutter tour

MONROVIA, Liberia—HS1 Elias Gomez shows a member of the Liberian Coast Guard, who is interested in becoming a corpsman, the ship’s clinic Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA3 Victoria Bonk.

On Thursday we arrived in Monrovia, Liberia to begin our work with the Liberian Coast Guard (LCG).

The work we are doing with the LCG is part of the African Partnership Station (APS), which is an international security cooperation initiative, facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and other collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.

Members of the LCG were given a complete tour of the ship, with stations set up to demonstrate crewmembers daily roles and responsibilities. There was a period to discuss Coast Guard job specialties and rating familiarization along with the requirements for each. During the tour and familiarization, the crew answered the LCG questions about the Coast Guard and the history of the Mohawk.

“This visit allowed the USCG personnel to interact both professionally and socially with their Liberian Coast Guard counterparts,” said Lt. Richard Blaszak, an operations officer aboard the Mohawk.

Friday, we challenged the LCG members to a soccer game. It poured rain the whole time, but it was extremely fun and a great chance for us to get to know the LCG members. Through the competition and rain, the LCG team won with a score of 5-3.

“The soccer game was pretty intense,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Adrian Jones, an operations specialist aboard the Mohawk. “We had a pretty uphill battle with the rain and the Liberians having home field advantage but overall we had a couple of great goals, and all had an unforgettable time!”

For the next two weeks, collaboration with the LCG will continue as seven members will be aboard the ship for a more extensive professional exchange and Coast Guard familiarization. These select LCG members will observe and participate in the Mohawk’s daily routine to further their understanding of shipboard life.

PA3 Victoria Bonk, CGC Mohawk

Soccer Game

MONROVIA, Liberia – Crewmembers from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk poses with members from the Liberian Coast Guard after they played a soccer game Friday, Aug. 13, 2010. The LCG won five to three. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA3 Victoria Bonk.

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