Ghana, U.S. Maritime Forces Complete Combined Maritime Law Enforcement Operation

Sekondi, Ghana – Ghana Armed Forces and U.S. Maritime Forces completed the Africa Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP) operations February 24, 2015. Commodore Mark Yawson, Flag Officer Fleet, Ghana Navy and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Tom Reck, Vice Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet closed the joint operation.

The operation embarked representatives from Ghana’s Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, the Marine Police Unit of the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Navy, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coastguard on Spearhead, the U.S. Navy’s first Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV). The operation succeeded in detecting three vessels that were violating Ghanaian maritime law and cited the violators for follow-on judicial action. The combined Ghana-U.S. efforts, an example of the Global Network of Navies, improved interoperability and capability to deter illicit activity that threatens freedom and security in the seaways.

Operations were conducted from the U.S. Navy’s USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) with support from Ghana surface vessels GNS Blika and GNS Chemle, as well as coordination from the Ghana Maritime Operations Center.

“The results of this year’s AMLEP extend beyond the number of boardings and violations of maritime law. The true end result is greater security in Ghana’s exclusive economic zone – security that I am confident will last,” said Rear Adm. Tom Reck, in his closing ceremony remarks.

The U.S. and Ghana have partnered for two successive AMLEP operations over the last two years as part of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) program, an international collaborative maritime security capacity-building program that aims to enforce partner nation maritime law, follow-on prosecution, so that African partners will benefit from revenue that comes from judicial processes.