By Tola Adenubi, Lagos 27 August 2020
The Western Naval Command (WNC) of the Nigerian Navy on Wednesday activated Operation Awkward exercise aimed at ensuring the safety of big naval ships in the harbour. The bi-annual exercise also known as the Harbour Defence Operations was held in a bid to ascertain the level of security of men and materials within its area of responsibility. Speaking during the exercise held in Lagos, Flag Officer, WNC, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji explained ghat the event was held to re-awaken certain naval evolutions so as to assess ships/establishments readiness to carry out emergency tasks at short notice as well as to check the state of ships, boats and other platforms under Command. The WNC Flag Officer who was represented by the Chief Staff Officer, WNC, Rear Admiral Tanko Yakubu Pani stated that “The Western Naval base is the premier and the biggest in the Nigerian Navy. “So most of our ships are here, and we must do everything possible to ensure the safety of the big ships in Harbour. This exercise is done on a regular basis to ensure that these ships are properly protected.”
Speaking on Operation Calm waters II which is also currently ongoing, the Flag Officer said that, “As you are all aware, operation calm waters II code name Operation Okun Alaafia is also ongoing. “It’s currently on the 35th day and still counting, and the exercise has been a great success as a lot of thieves engaged in various illegalities were arrested. We are in the process of charging them to court for prosecution. So, this exercise is to compliment others that are ongoing.” He also noted that training of naval officer is a continuous process as thieves may advance in their act. “We will also modify our training to counter what they are doing. So it’s a continuous process. The tactics and techniques are not known to them. “Nigerian Navy is more than capable as our environments have not been having incidences of crime. Rather, the criminals have moved to the waters of our neighbouring countries because of the heat we are putting on them, he added.” Recall that the Nigerian Navy recently stated that it has deployed eight of its warships and two fighter jets to tackle cases of insecurity in the country’s territorial waters.
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