The Nigerian Navy in Lagos on Wednesday said it would deploy eight vessels and helicopters for the 2018 fourth quarter sea exercise, codenamed ‘Exercise Amum Buneng’ (Calm Waters).
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Adm. Habila Ngalabak, told journalists in Lagos that the exercise was aimed at addressing the nation’s current and impending maritime security challenges.
“The objective of the exercise is to test the operational state and capabilities of assigned ships, boats and helicopters as well as project navy’s presence within the command’s area of operation.
“The mission is to develop a naval force that is well trained and organised and highly motivated to discharge its constitutional roles professionally and efficiently for the defence of Nigeria in ensuring her economic prosperity,” he said.
Ngalabak said the exercise would involve maritime combat operations, maritime security operations and maritime assistance operations.
He said, “The maritime combat operations will involve the conduct of amphibious operations, maritime special operations, riverine operations and gunnery exercises.
“The maritime security operations will entail maritime interdiction operation, visit board search and ‘seizure and anti-piracy.
“Additionally, the maritime assistance operations will cover emergency response at sea as well as search and rescue operations.”
Ngalabak advised the public to remain calm, following the heavy buildup of naval assets which might be sighted during the conduct of the exercise, scheduled to hold from November 28 to 30.
Operation ‘Ex Toru-Gbown’ begins in Bayelsa, Delta
Separately, the Central Naval Command (CNC) of the Nigerian Navy has begun a riverine and sea exercise tagged “Ex Toru-Gbown”.
The Flag Officer Commanding CNC, Saidu Garba, flagged-off the exercise on Wednesday at the Nigerian Ports Authority Jetty in Warri, Delta.
Garba said the three-day exercise would take place in Bayelsa and Delta states.
Ex Toru-Gbown means ‘water protection’ in Ijaw Language.
The FOC noted that the command had the responsibility of providing adequate security in the area, and gave the assurance that it would continue to discharge its duties diligently.
“So far, our operations have recorded huge success in reducing crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other maritime crimes.
“Ex Toru-Gbown is a riverine exercise scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018.
“Last year, the command, in a similar fashion, hosted ‘operation Octopus Grip’.
“Our presence here today is an indication of the Nigerian Navy’s commitment to safeguarding the nation’s maritime environment, which is filled with illegalities,” he said.
The FOC said the exercise was aimed at assessing the combat readiness of the command and the capability of specific bases/units in conducting riverine and checkpoint operations, among others goals.
He said the navy was providing an environment that would enable sustenance of economic activities, including shipping and oil and gas production.
Earlier, the Central Fleet Commander and the Officer in Tactical Command, Sunday Oguntade, said the command could handle cases of hijack or kidnapping at sea.
Oguntade said Nigeria’s maritime environment had resources and that over 90 percent of them were from oil and gas.