Navy deploys 15 warships for anti-piracy exercise

PHOTO CREDIT: SHIPS & PORTS archive

PHOTO CREDIT: SHIPS & PORTS archive

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Obed Ngalabak says the Navy has deployed 15 warships and over 500 personnel to the annual multinational maritime exercise codenamed “Obangame”.

The exercise, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command, is aimed at improving cooperation and tactical expertise among participating navies in order to increase maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.

“We have over Nigerian 15 warships participating in the exercise; we have eight ships actively participating that will go into the sea, while the rest would be placed on standby.

“The number of personnel participating in the exercise could be over 500 because each ship has its own personnel; some have up to 200, some 50 and so on. So, we have about 500 personnel participating.

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“Outside the training, the collaboration has helped to establish a good platform for sharing information with our sister African nations,” Ngalabak said in a telephonic news conference organised by the U.S Embassy, Abuja on Wednesday.

Speaking on the exercise, the Commander, Military Sealift Command Europe and Africa, Capt. Eric Conzen said “the exercise has proven successful in past years in building capacity.

He said, “I’m looking forward to working with our African partners to address maritime crime.”