Navy Deploys 14 Vessels, Helicopters To Battle Pirates

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The Nigerian Navy (NN) on Monday launched a battle against criminals operating in Nigeria’s waterways. Pirates

It deployed 14 ships and two helicopters for a three-day onslaught against pirates.

The deployed warships include NNS Thunder, Obula, Prosperity, Nwamba, Nguru, Ekulu. Others include, Karaduwa, Andoni, Sagbama, Ose, Zaria, Okpoku, Tug Dolphin Rima and Tug Dolphin Rima.

They are expected to cover the entire stretch of the country’s maritime space. The objective is to arrest any suspect vessel or individual found engaging in any form of criminality. Pirates

The exercise is codenamed Secured Waters. It was flagged off at the Naval Dockyard Limited in Victoria Island, Lagos. The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo flagged of the exercise. He said one of his cardinal priorities was to improve the operational efficiency of NN fleet.

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“This is in line with the mandate of Mr President. The exercise is to urgently restore normalcy in the nation’s maritime domain. It is also to emplace a conducive environment for maritime business to flourish.

“Over the past years, the NN has made significant progress in the fight against various forms of maritime crimes.

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The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, said assets were deployed from the three naval operations commands, Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) as well as adequate support from the Logistics Command and autonomous units.

He said the exercise would present an opportunity for the navy to evaluate and revise her operations. It will also project fleet response plans to attain a focused alignment with the strategic guidance issued by the CNS.

“The Exercise also provides the platform to align our training objectives with our operational requirements and provides a test bench for the planning and execution of our coordinated strike capabilities. Pirates

“It is also pertinent to state that the exercise comes against the backdrop of cases of piracy in the GoG and the recent efforts to rejig the maritime security, particularly in the Lagos area. Pirates

“Within this context, maintaining our strategic deterrence posture and influence in the maritime environment is critical to our economic prosperity and regional stability.

“It is my firm belief that the exercise will give additional impetus to our overall maritime combat experiences to ensure that the NN remains relevant not only in the defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria but also in other contributions to the nation’s economic prosperity,” he said.

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