The Commander, Allied Joint Force Naples /United States Naval Forces, Europe and Africa, Admiral James Foggo on Wednesday disclosed the readiness of forces under his command to assist the Nigerian Navy tackle security challenges in the country.
The forces are also ready to help the Nigerian Navy thwart criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea.
Admiral Foggo made the declaration during a courtesy call on the Flag Officer Commanding, FOC Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Sylvanus Abbah,.
The Naval Chief noted that the Nigerian Navy as the largest in the West Coast of Africa needed to train more and share ideas with other countries, if the war against insurgency would be won and sustained.
Foggo said that the essence of US Navy ships in Nigeria was to participate in the 2018 Obagame express, a sea maritime exercise conducted by the US Naval Forces Africa, to improve cooperation among participating nations in order to increase maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We are here to execute exercise Obagame express, which is the largest naval exercise in West Africa and the goal is to sharpen our skills, train and plan for enhanced security for the territorial limit security in West Africa countries and into the economic zones” he said.
“Nigeria has a Navy that is extremely powerful, extremely strong and the largest in the West Coast of Africa. So, as we train together and share best practices, get together with our partners, as we talk about how to maintain the security, lessons learnt, spill over to the same kind of security processor and training tactical procedures in the Niger Delta, or for your commanders who will need some of the operations up North, against Boko Haram and ISIS.
“You (NN) are aware that you are operating in an environment that is a threat to Nigeria. We are happy to share this lessons’ with you. So, we are here to help you anywhere we can and you can count on us on trainings, part of which comes up at our NEPALE headquarters, by November 2018.”
In his response, FOC Western naval Command, Rear Admiral Sylvanus Abbah said the relationship between both navies had come a long way.
He stated that Nigerian naval personnel had benefited through trainings and acquisition of some warships from the US government in general and it’s Navy in particular.
Abbah expressed optimism that the relationship between both navies would wax stronger noting that the only part of Nigeria that was initially ridden with crisis was the North East and not the entire nation as assumed by the outside world.
He disclosed that the Nigerian Navy had established its War College and advised the visiting Admiral to release some of his personnel to acquire training in Nigeria.