The Famous-class medium endurance USCGC Spencer (WMEC 905) arrived in Lomé, Togo for a scheduled port visit, Jan. 25, 2023 marking the first U.S. ship visit to Togo since 2012.
Spencer’s port visit will also coincide with the arrival of Vice Adm. Thomas Ishee, commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet. While in Lomé, Ishee will meet with senior Togolese leaders to strengthen relations and discuss regional stability and security through maritime cooperation.
“The maritime operations and visit by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Spencer directly supports the United States’ shared interest with our African partner nations to ensure security, safety, and freedom of navigation surrounding the continent,” said Ishee. “I am excited to further our maritime partnership and pursue areas of cooperation with Togo as we work toward accomplishing our shared goals in the Gulf of Guinea.”
U.S. Ambassador Elizabeth Fitzsimmons and members of the U.S. mission to Togo will also join the bilateral discussions. Fitzsimmons recently traveled to Naples, Italy to visit U.S. Sixth Fleet headquarters and discuss increased opportunities for U.S.-Togo maritime efforts in November 2022.
“The growing cooperation between the United States and Togo, in terms of security and safety of African waters, play an essential role in the growth of the continent and therefore of the world,” said Fitzsimmons. “I am proud to welcome the United States Coast Guard Cutter Spencer, which is an example of the U.S. maritime security commitment to the region.”
Spencer’s visit to Lomé demonstrates the long-standing commitment and partnership between the U.S. and African partners to counter illicit maritime activity in the Atlantic Ocean.
During their visit, Spencer’s crew, consisting of approximately 100 crew members, will engage in professional exchanges and exercises with the Togolese Navy and Armed Forces, including joint maritime patrols with Togolese vessels. Crew members will also participate in maritime law enforcement engagements and community service activities.
“I am looking forward to working with our Togolese counterparts on building strategies against maritime piracy and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing,” said Cmdr. Corey Kerns, commanding officer of Spencer.
Spencer supports the United States Coast Guard’s maritime law enforcement and search and rescue missions. The vessel has a length of 90 meters and a minimum light draft of 7 meters.
U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, oversees all Coast Guard operations east of the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf, spanning across five Coast Guard districts and 40 states.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.