Fourteen naval capital ships, two helicopters and a detachment of the special boat service will be used to restore normalcy at the nation’s maritime zone and emplace a conducive environment for maritime business.
The Chief of Naval Staff, RAdm. Awwal Gambo, disclosed this yesterday while flagging off of the first quarter sea exercise codenamed ‘Exercise Secured Waters,’ aboard Navy ship, Thunder, in Victoria Island, Lagos State.
He said the exercise was in line with the mandate of President Muhammad Buhari to secure and create conducive environment for maritime business.
“The fleet will conduct several exercises, including Anti-piracy operations, protection of oil and gas facilities, fleet manoeuvres, communication, vessel board search and seizure, search and rescue, among others.
“One of my cardinal priorities is to include the operational efficiency of the Nigerian Navy’s fleet in terms of sea readiness and availability for operational deployment. This is to speedily boost our capacity to meet our statutory maritime commitment,” he stated.
According to him, Exercise Secured Waters is part of his strategic intent to position the Nigerian Navy firmly towards his articulated vision to align strategic intent with execution.
“My vision for the Navy on taking over command is to leverage on all factors of national location, technology, training, teamwork and synergy to re-energise the Navy,” he added.
Gambo said the NN had made significant progress in the fight against various forms of maritime crimes over the years.
The Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, RAdm. Oladele Daji, said the exercise presented the CNS an opportunity to evaluate and revise operational and projected fleet responses and plans.
“The exercise also provides a platform to align our training objectives with our operational requirements and logistics and provide a test bench of planning and execution of our coordinated strike capabilities.
“It is also pertinent to state that the exercise comes against the backdrop of cases of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea,” he added.