Work '08 with the São Toméan Coast Guard

Nov 20, 2008
São Tomé & Principe
Training Exercise by the Guarda Costeria
CONOPS and SOP development: after a week in plan and prep, Thursday's RescueEX (exercise involving a rescue at sea) went smoothly. Thorough preplanning by Lt. Sousa and the CG staffers resulted in a near-flawless execution. Media coverage by local TV will inform the public of the CG's mission and purpose.

Formed in '06, the CG has grown impressively in capability and discipline. 



Seen below, here's a good pair of before & after photos.  The first was taken in JAN '08 and the second in NOV '08.  The US Navy SeaBees, for whom I have the greatest respect,  are always doing practical work ...



The kitchen (left) was in need of overhaul; the SeaBees rebuilt that section of the compound and provided a single cell brig,
new kitchen area, and new storage area for supplies.  The security fence along the seawall is new as well.  Nicely done.  Americans have a reputation in Africa of being the practical ones.  They get things done while others talk.  It's nice to be thought of as the ones who will come alongside and work hard to help.


An early view of the new boat ramp being built (left, early spring '08), and the completed ramp (right) in NOV '08.  In the foreground, a new bathroom/shower
facility for the compound and expanding Coast Guard.  A young organization, they're 35 members strong now and plan to be around 200 in five years or so.  Lot's of work ahead for them in training and equipping the organization for the mission.  I asked the XO, a young Lieutenant, if he was at all intimidated by the task ahead.  "Not at all," he replied not uncharacteristically.  "The real challenge is budget, not ability."  He's a powerhouse personality, stable, clear thinking fellow.  The rest of the organization is focused, hardworking, capable.