Maritime security: Nigeria, 31 nations deploy warships, copters for military drill

The Nigerian Navy on Friday deployed 10 warships and two helicopters in a joint multinational maritime exercise comprising 31 other foreign navies.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, inaugurated the exercise tagged: “Obangame Express 2022” in Onne, Eleme local government area of Rivers state.

Gambo said the exercise was aimed at improving security in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) and boost synergy with navies within the regional block and allied countries.

According to him, the Nigerian Navy will conduct the drill on Nigeria’s territorial waterways and the gulf between March 11 and end on it March 18.

“Exercise Obangame Express is an annual multinational maritime exercise, which was born on the need for GoG navies and coastguards to cooperate for regional maritime security.

“The Nigerian Navy will deploy 10 ships, two helicopters; maritime domain awareness assets as well as elements of the Special Boat Services (Nigeria’s naval special forces) in this year’s exercise,” he said.

He listed some of the countries that would participate in the exercise to include Angola, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Canada, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo and Denmark.

Others are: Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, Italy, Liberia, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Congo, Sao Tome & Principe and Senegal.

Also participating are Sierra Leone, Togo, the United States of America as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African State (ECCAS).

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