The Nigerian Navy says no fewer than 500 naval officers and 15 warships have been deployed to a multinational sea exercise “Obangame Express”, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command.
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Obed Ngalabak, said this on Wednesday in a telephonic news conference organised by the U.S Embassy, Abuja.
He said that Obangame involved navy authorities in the Gulf of Guinea, European and US Navy, adding that the aim of the exercise was to deepen cooperation amongst Gulf of Guinea navies.
Obangame Express is an annual multinational exercise supported by African, European and US partners.
Ngalabak said that the exercise was designed to improve cooperation and tactical expertise among participating nations in order to increase maritime safety and security for Gulf of Guinea nations.
“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.
Ngalabak said that the exercise had been beneficial to the Nigerian Navy, especially in fighting ship piracy on the seas.
He said that officers and ratings of the Navy had been trained in modern maritime techniques, whose top in handy in the recent ship piracy attacks.