Mission to Africa – Mohawk sets sail

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Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk man the rail while leaving port in Key West, Fla., Monday, June 14, 2010. Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Victoria Bonk

Earlier this week, I set sail with the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk on a mission to Africa to help build law enforcement capacities in the region.  We are steaming for West Africa where we will work alongside our African partners in the region to help build the capacities and capabilities necessary to make their borders stronger and less porous.

One of our many missions is sharing our expertise and training to combat “narco-terrorism.”  By training our partners to cut-off the drugs and contraband flowing through their country, the Coast Guard can better fight terrorism.

“The main focus of the Coast Guard right now is correctly on oil spill operations in the Gulf of Mexico.  But as our new Commandant, ADM Papp, pointed out just the other day; the Coast Guard is still performing many other valuable missions around the country and around the world every day.  Mohawk’s mission to West Africa to help our partner nations build their capacities and capabilities to strengthen their borders is just one example of those other important, strategic, missions,” said Cmdr. Robert Hendrickson, commanding officer of Mohawk.

It’s approximately a two week trip across the Atlantic Ocean from Key West, Fla. to West Africa, so the crew is staying busy. They are performing drills and training to help everyone become qualified for their watches and learn their jobs. Workout classes are scheduled to help the crew stay in shape and many morale events are planned, everything from bingo to movies to fish calls.

Photos from the trip will be posted in this Flickr gallery.

We’re looking forward to sharing our voyage with you over the next four months.  Stay tuned!

PA3 Victoria Bonk, CGC Mohawk

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk pull up the brow before leaving port in Key West, Fla., Monday, June 14, 2010. Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Victoria Bonk

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