NIGERIAN NAVY HOSTS MULTI-NATIONAL MARITIME EXERCISE, OBANGAME EXPRESS

The Nigerian Navy will from 15 – 20 March 2019 hosts an annual multi-national maritime exercise called OBANGAME EXPRESS. OBANGAME EXPRESS is an annual multi-phased exercise sponsored by the US Naval Forces Africa (US NAVAF) and is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing and enhance the collective capabilities of Gulf of Guinea and West African navies to counter illegalities in the maritime domain.

Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS 2019 (OE19) comprising about 31 participating countries including 20 African nations and 11 allied countries is being hosted by the Nigerian Navy in Western Naval Command Area of Responsibility, with the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, as the chief host. Eight Nigerian Navy ships including 2 Offshore Patrol Vessels (NNS CENTENARY and NNS UNITY), 2 helos and one ship each from US, Portugal and Morocco would be participating in Lagos area. Currently, OBANGAME EXPRESS is the largest maritime exercise in the Golf of Guinea according to the Commander US NAVAF, Admiral James G Foggo. The OE19 is aimed at assessing and improving Gulf of Guinea law enforcement capacity, promote national and regional security, improve knowledge on African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP) planning and operations, and shape security force assistance efforts.

As part of the activities of OBANGAME EXPRESS, a Senior Leadership Symposium will hold from 19 – 21 March 2019. It is expected that the Senior Leadership Symposium would elicit discussions geared toward finding solutions to our common maritime security challenges while the trainings and the exercise would foster togetherness among regional and friendly navies in the task of restoring order and governance in the Gulf of Guinea maritime domain.

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