- Title: SOUTH AFRICA: US latest and most hi-tech missile destroyer in Cape Town
- Date: 4th October 2007
- Summary: VARIOUS OF SHIP'S CREW SOUTH AFRICAN MARITIME POLICE IN RUBBER DINGHY GUARDING MISSILE DESTROYER VIEW OF THE DESTROYER
- Embargoed: 19th October 2007 13:00
- Location: South Africa
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Defence / Military
- Reuters ID: LVA2WNBN7RA91NX03GYMPZ943VP
- Story Text: The USS Forrest Sherman, a United States guided missile destroyer on its maiden deployment to African waters, docked in Cape Town on Tuesday (October 2). The state-of-the-art vessel, which according to the US Navy boasts the most lethal arsenal ever put to sea, is in South Africa to strengthen the relationship between the US Navy and The South African Navy.
The ship is also part of the U.S. Navy's newly established Southeast Africa Task Group. The goal of this task group, said the ship's captain, Nicholas H. Holman, is to build strong partnerships with Southern and East African nations to promote maritime safety and security initiatives.
"Our focus has been developing partnerships with countries that are here to help develop relationships to prove security in the oceans of this part of the world. If we improve the developments of the oceans and eliminate some of the problems at sea such as piracy, smuggling, illegal fishing, improve the economics and develop regional stability it will prove everyone's economic gain for the countries involved plus the world in general," Holman told visiting journalists.
The USS Forrest Sherman had visited Tanzania, Comoros and Mozambique before heading for South Africa. It is the first time in 30 years that the US navy had visited some of these African countries.
The US is hoping that regional improvements in maritime safety and security will help contribute to long term stability and economic development in Southeast Africa.
The US has been indirectly involved in at least one recent conflict in the area, sending military aircraft into Somalia during battles between government forces and Islamic militiamen early this year.
The US also considers parts of east Africa to be potential training and recruitment areas for Al Qaeda militants.
The combat system aboard the Forrest Sherman is the most technologically advanced in the world, according to the US Navy and is capable of projecting power both at sea and ashore with "precise and lethal accuracy".
The ship can also use a variety of sensors to detect, classify and track hundreds of potential targets simultaneously in the air, on the surface and under the sea.
After arriving in South African waters in September, the US destroyer sailed with South Africa's new stealth frigate, the SAS Amatola, and other U.S and South African military craft in a four-day exercise to promote cooperation between the United States and South Africa.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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