Two years ago the Navy launched its first annual Africa Partnership Station, sending ships on solo cruises up the West African coast to deliver training and humanitarian aid. On Jan. 15 2009 the USS Nashville left Naval Station Norfolk, embarking on African Partnership Station 2009. During this deployment the Nashville made port calls in Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon where she delivered forms of assistance not normally associated with the military. Scientists on board deposited ocean buoys that are now part of a global-warming warning system and at every port, Nashville handed over batches of humanitarian aid. Various U.S. ambassadors embarked on the ship for brief stints in order to accompany Commodore Cindy Thebaud on high-level meetings with local elected officials.
May 12, 2009, on board the USS Nashville, Africa Partnership Station Nashville, commander Commodore Cindy Thebaud discusses the goals and importance of the ships final mission.
Captain Cynthia M. Thebaud
Commander, Africa Partnership Station Nashville
Cynthia M. Thebaud, a Surface Warfare Officer and Connecticut native, graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985 with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. She also holds a Master of Arts Degree in Security Policy Studies from The George Washington University, is an honors graduate of the Naval War College, and is Joint Specialty Officer (JSO) qualified.
Her sea tours have included duty in ships home ported in both East and West coast ports, and include USS Decatur (DDG 73), USS Ticonderoga (CG 47), USS Hayler (DD 997), USS Platte (AO 186), USS Prairie (AD 15), and USS Norton Sound (AVM 1).
She commanded Decatur from August 2002 through March 2004. While in command, Decatur deployed to the Middle East as part of the Navy’s inaugural Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG-1) in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. During her command tour, Decatur earned the Battle E and various mission excellence awards including the Golden Anchor Award.
Thebaud’s shore tours include Chief, Southeast Asia Division in the Joint Staff, Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J-5); Taiwan Desk Officer in the Joint Staff (J-5); Executive Assistant/Flag Secretary to Commander, U.S. Naval Surface Forces Pacific; Surface Warfare Junior Officer Detailer; U.S. Naval Academy Company Officer; NROTC Instructor at The George Washington University; and a Joint Staff Internship in J-5/Policy Division. Her most recent assignment was Director, Division of Professional Development at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Thebaud’s awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Corps Commendation Medal with four gold stars, Navy Achievement Medal with gold star and various unit citations and campaign medals.
Courtesy Unites States Navy