GULF OF GUINEA: 30 NAVIES CONVERGE FOR MAJOR NAVAL EXERCISE
The Nigerian Navy disclosed yesterday that Ships from 30 nations including those of the United States, France, Germany and Netherlands will from 14 – 25 March 2016 conduct a major naval exercise in the Gulf of Guinea.
Code named ‘Exercise Obangame 2016’, the multi-national exercise will focus on increasing regional cooperation and inter-operability to enhance maritime safety and security.
According to a statement signed by Commodore Christian Ezekobe, Director of Naval Information, “The exercise will be conducted in the Gulf of Guinea and will evaluate combined operations to counter illicit maritime activities utilizing inter regional, regional and national whole-of –government approach towards curbing untoward activities in the Gulf of Guinea.
He said “The opening ceremony of the Exercise is scheduled for 17 March 2016 in Dakar, Senegal; execution phase from 14-24 March 2016 will take place at sea, while the closing ceremony is scheduled for 25 March 2016, in Doula, Cameroun.
“The Nigerian Navy is committing 3 ships, NNS OKPABANA, NNS CENTENARY and NNS PROSPERITY for the Exercise which is the highest by any participating navy in the region.
The thirty nations scheduled to participate in this year’s exercise include Angola, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Equatorial Guinea, France and Gabon.
Others are Germany, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Norway, Mauritania, Portugal, Republic of Congo, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, South Africa, Togo, Turkey, the Netherlands, and the United States.
Also participating are regional organizations such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
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