US Secretary of the Navy visits AFM Maritime Squadron
Valletta (Malta), 17th Dec., 2010: The Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) of the United States of America, Mr. Ray Mabus, visited yesterday the Armed Forces of Malta. The visit took place at the Maritime Squadron’s Hay Wharf Base, where he was met by Commander AFM, Brigadier Martin G. Xuereb. Branch Chiefs from Headquarters AFM and Commanding Officer Maritime Squadron, Acting Lieutenant Colonel Wallace Camilleri, were also in attendance.
SECNAV is the head of the Department of the Navy, a component organization as a military department of the US Department of Defense. Mr Mabus had in the early 1970s also served in the U.S. Navy, aboard the cruiser USS Little Rock.
A Quarter Guard was accorded to Mr. Mabus on his arrival, after which he inspected the guard with CAFM. Accompanied by the US Embassy’s Defence Attaché, Commander Jane Moraski, SECNAV had discussions with Brigadier Xuereb at the Squadron’s Officers Mess.
Various outline presentations were made by HQ AFM staff officers. Topics covered included local AFM and FRONTEX Maritime Operations and their respective cooperation with the US Navy, in particular with regards to maritime domain awareness, as well as the AFM’s participation in crisis management operations overseas, given Malta’s recent participation in maritime operations overseas in the Gulf of Aden.
Also covered was the procurement of equipment and related support from the United States, namely that related to maritime assets and possible future projects in this regard. This tied in with those training opportunities in the maritime sector provided by the US Navy from which the AFM has benefited over the years, and possible similar cooperation in the future.
Mr Ray Mabus was then given a tour of the Maritime Squadron’s base facilities, which included a briefing on the employment of the various classes of AFM patrol boats operated by the Squadron. He was able to go onboard P-51, which is a US co-financed Protector-class patrol vessel, similar to those utilised by the US Coast Guard.
Image – by Justin Gatt/AFM Press Office