U.S., TPDF Navy Sailors Partner for Small Boat Event
U.S. sailors recently visited the Tanzania People’s Defense Forces (TPDF) Naval Training School, April 16, to share best practices concerning proper use of Defender Boats. Defender Boats are small, agile watercraft used by the TPDF Navy to respond to emergency situations along the Tanzanian coast, according to U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Charles Benoit.
Benoit, Petty Officer 1st Class Albert Perret and several TPDF Navy trainers led a week-long event to familiarize more than 20 TPDF Navy sailors with two boats that the U.S. recently gave to the TPDF.
“Many of these sailors came from the TPDF Army and have never been on a boat, so we’re just starting with the basics,” Perret said.
One basic topic of interest for the group was safety.
“Proper use and organization of ropes is one of the biggest safety concerns on a small boat, Perret said. “There’s less room on small boats and ropes can present a tripping hazard. If someone gets tripped up by one, it could pull them into the water. These small boats are especially dangerous because of the small space, so you have to know how to move about.”
During a team discussion, TPDF Navy Chief Petty Officer Jordan Kuru, the senior enlisted trainer and 28-year TDPF Navy veteran, conveyed the importance of training and proper use of TPDF equipment. “I was trained for 20 years on how to take care of one piece of equipment,” Kuru said. “In those 20 years I had to use it one time and that one time it was ready when I needed it.”
The group also focused on knot tying and crew responsibilities.
According to TPDF Navy Colonel J.E. Karia, training school commandant, the school’s primary purpose is to facilitate the four-month-long basic seamanship training course. This course does not currently include a small boat training module.
“This was a very rewarding event and I am thankful of your sharing your knowledge,” Karia said. “We are very much looking forward to partnering more with the U.S. My sailors are confident with what they’re doing now in troubleshooting and providing maintenance to these small boats.”
Overall, the week-long endeavor produced positive results, according to Benoit.
“We’ve gotten a baseline understanding of what the real needs are,” Benoit said. “That’s the most important thing. And we’ve establishing a relationship. Tanzania has its own specific needs and if we can meet those needs, then we should.”
Chief Kuru shared his final thoughts about the event.
“We are very happy to see your sailors come to our Naval Training School,” Kuru said. “We are learning the art of things, which we will always remember.”