The Nigerian Navy and their colleagues from three other continents have concluded a one-week multinational maritime exercise.
The multinational exercise tagged ‘Operation Obangame Express’ was brought to a halt in Cross River State, southern Nigeria.
The Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Atiku Abdulkadir, said that the exercise was meant to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea and enhance cooperation between the Navy in African nations and beyond.
“We are developing our capacities and it has come out very clearly during the exercise. Aside from that, it affords us to see how equipment from other countries and Nigeria can operate together and be effective in provision of maritime security,” he said.
The US-Africa Deputy Commander for Regional Operations, Vice Admiral Michael Franken, also stressed the importance of the event.
He urged the Gulf of Guinea nations and the various ministries in each country to share the best practices between themselves, stressing that “the United States is only here as an international partner”.
Since 2009, the yearly multinational exercise seeks to build relationships between navies of most African nations as well as the US, France and other EU participating nations.
32 nations and international organisations from four continents participated in the visit, search, arrest, rescue, seizure, maintenance, security and surveillance exercises including the tactical measures in reclaiming hijacked ships from pirates.
They also reenacted the series of exercises on the ‘Awunde Code of Conduct’ on non-binding international agreement that lays down the standards which participating countries should follow.
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