The Nigerian Navy will on Thursday flag off a multinational maritime operation exercise christened Obangame Express . A statement signed by Suleman Dahun on behalf of the Chief of Naval Staff noted that the exercise is sponsored by the U.S. Africa Command and is aimed at improving regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices and tactical interdiction expertise. The exercise will also enhance the collective capabilities of the Gulf of Guinea and West African nations to counter sea-based illicit activity, Mr. Dahun, a Navy captain, said.
The Navy said Obangame Express will be conducted in phases within the territorial waters of the participating nations. The Nigerian phase of exercise is scheduled for March 24-28. Nigerian Navy Ship OKPABANA, Nigerian Navy Ship CENTENARY, Nigerian Navy Ship SAGBAMA and one helicopter will be participating in the Exercise along with a French Navy ship, JACOUBET.
The French ship will sail into the Nigerian waters from Cameroon, the Navy said. The ships will perform several exercises as will be presented by the exercise scenario.
Thirty nations are scheduled to participate in this year s exercise. They are Angola, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Cote d Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, and Guinea-Bissau. Others are: Liberia, Nigeria, Norway, Mauritania, Portugal, Republic of Congo, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, South Africa, Togo, Turkey, the Netherlands, and the United State.
Regional organisations including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) are also scheduled to take part in the exercise. Participants at the drill will create realistic scenarios that reflect past piracy incidents whereby a hijacked vessel will transit from one territory to another, the statement said. Maritime Operations Centres (MOCs) during the exercise will be challenged to recognise these illicit acts appropriately and share with other MOCs.
Additionally, the game will test the ability of all the participating maritime forces to patrol their respective economic zones and detect and prosecute illegal activity accordingly, the statement said.
India will push for a joint action plan to counter terrorism, de-radicalise potential recruits, and enhance maritime security in the Bay of Bengal region when it hosts on Tuesday the first meeting of the national security advisers (NSA) to the seven BIMSTEC countries.
The BIMSTEC is a crucial regional platform in India s strategy for ending cross-border extremism as the SAARC, the South Asian grouping, has failed to achieve its security goals because of Pakistan s ambivalence in app ..
Article Credit- The Economic Times
Admira l Zakaul lah was confer red with United States Legion of Merit by US Chief of Naval Operat ions
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah during meeting with US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson. PHOTO: PR
The United States had lauded the professionalism of Pakistan Navy personnel and active role being played by Pakistan Navy for maritime security and stability in the region
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah is currently on a visit to the US and had meetings with US Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson, and Deputy Commander US Fleet Forces Command, Vice Admiral Richard Breckenridge. During the trip, Admiral Zakaullah was conferred with the United States Legion of Merit (Degree of Commander) by US Chief of Naval Operations.
US Legion of Merit is one of the highest Military Awards of the US Armed Forces that is bestowed for exceptionally meritorious conduct. The award was conferred at a ceremony held at US Navy Yard. During meetings with the US officials, matters of mutual interest including bilateral naval collaboration and security environment in the Indian Ocean Region were discussed.
US officials also lauded Pakistan s efforts in the war against terrorism. Pakistan s role and contributions in spearheading various initiatives for maintaining peace and stability in the region were also appreciated.
Admiral Zakaullah thanked US Chief of Naval Operations for active participation of the US Navy in the Multinational Naval Exercise AMAN-17 conducted by Pakistan Navy in Karachi.
Admiral Zakaullah also met Deputy Commander US Fleet Forces Command, Vice Admiral Richard Breckenridge at US Fleet Forces Headquarters Norfolk Virginia, wherein he was given detailed briefings regarding the US Fleet Forces Command.
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