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Maritime Domain Awareness: Nigeria, 30 others to participate in sea exercise ‘Obangame Express’ – Navy

The Nigerian Navy in Lagos said 31 countries would participate
in the multinational sea exercise code named: “Obangame Express.

The exercise is aimed at promoting regional
cooperation among navies in the Gulf of Guinea.
The Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command,
Rear Admiral Obed Ngalabak, disclosed this to journalists onboard Nigerian Navy
Ship Centenary at the Naval Dockyard Limited on Tuesday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Obangame Express, which
was first held in 2010, is an annual multi-phased exercise sponsored by the
United States Naval Force Africa.
The aim of the exercise, slated for March 10 to 22,
2019, is to promote the importance of regional cooperation among all the navies
of the GOG.
It is also designed to improve maritime domain
awareness, information sharing and enhance the collective capabilities of GOG
and West African nations to counter illegality in the maritime domain.
According to Ngalabak, exercise Obangame Express,
which will be hosted by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas,
will have about 31 participating countries, made up of 20 African nations and
11 allied countries.
Ngalabak said: “Eight NNS, including two Offshore
Patrol Vessels Centenary and Unity, two helosand one ship each from US,
Portugal and Morocco would be participating in Lagos area.
“The Obangame Express is aimed at assessing and improving GOG
law enforcement capacity, promotes national and regional security, improving
knowledge of African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership planning and
operations and shape security force assistance efforts.
“The exercise will attract foreign guests and
participants with domestic stakeholders in the maritime domain.
“The overall objectives are to exercise each of the
participating countries capabilities in Maritime Domain Awareness and Maritime
Interdiction Operations.”
The FOC said the exercise’s objectives were also to
demonstrate and evaluate Maritime Operations Centres interoperability across
the region.
Ngalabak added: “It is also to demonstrate and
evaluate tactical Maritime Interdiction Operations capability, power projection
and the ability to effectively operate as a multinational force under a
regional control authority.”
The FOC said there would also be a Senior Leadership
Symposium during the exercise, which would elicit discussions geared toward
finding solutions to the common maritime security challenges.
“The training and the sea exercise would foster
togetherness among regional and friendly navies in the task of enhancing
governance in the GOG maritime domain,” he said.
Some of the African countries participating are Benin,
Togo, Ghana, Cameroon alongside Nigeria and others.

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