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Nigeria Navy reaffirms commitment to tackling maritime crimes

By Obiabin Onukwugha

The Nigerian Navy has reiterated its commitment to maritime security, especially the Gulf of Guinea.

This comes as the NN participated in the Exercise Obangame Express 2024, which held between the 10th to 17th of May, this year.

The exercise was initiated by the United States Navy in conjunction with other global navies for global maritime security.

Obangame is an African word that reflects togetherness and focuses on enhancing the collaborative efforts of Gulf of Guinea Nations in the fight against maritime crime.

During the week long exercise, which took place at the maritime space of the gulf of Guinea, the Navy carried out exercises such as anti-smuggling of small arms/drugs, fleet maneuvers, emergency drilling, medical evacuation, flagships, semaphore, radio communications, gunnets, amongst others, with the Spanish navy ship.

Briefing newsmen shortly on arrival from the exercise at the weekend, the Officer in Tactical Command, Rear Admiral Nnamdi Ekwom, stated that the exercise was also used to retrain Men of the agency in maritime security operations.

He noted the importance of maritime security to economic development, pointing out that Exercise Obangame Express provides opportunity for Gulf of Guinea countries to collaborate towards maritime security.

He said: “In terms of benefits, I think its innumerable because our presence at sea constitutes so much deterrence. Of course, you know the economics of maritime defense, how safety seas will result to better economy.

“This year’s exercise is quite remarkable if you observe what we did at sea I think we have gone a notch higher than what obtained in the past.

“The men are trained in various aspects of maritime operations. Like you see, the first day we had what we call Visit Boarding, Search and Seizure (VBSS), that is Boarding Technique for anti-smuggling operations. It was excellent. The fleet maneuvers we had also was beautiful, I’m sure you saw the index, particularly the CASEVAC, (casualty evacuation), that aspect that required extracting a wounded person to the aircraft. I hope you know it was carried out with utmost precision.”

The OTC, who also noted the huge resources invested to deploying assets such as ships and helicopters for the exercise, thanked the Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla for ensuring that the Nigerian Navy participated in the exercise.


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