US pledges military assistance to Navy

The United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), a USA government military outfit in Africa has pledged to rejig its military assistance to the Nigerian Navy.

The commander of AFRICOM, General David Rodriquez, who led a delegation to the naval headquarters, Abuja, disclosed this.

It would be recalled that AFRICOM has been collaborating with stakeholders in the continent on conflict resolution, humanitarian and military affairs.

Speaking during the visit, General Rodrigquez noted that his visit to the naval high command was part of his tour of strategic partners in Africa, particularly Nigeria in order to deepen US commitment in deterrence of transnational threats.

He expressed the desire of his command to continue to engage Nigerian navy personnel in training programmes as a way of enhancing capability to tackle maritime threats and insurgency in the country.

Responding, the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok- Ete Ekwe Ibas said the partnership between the Nigerian Navy and the US has been very fruitful, as it has helped the Service build impressive capacity in the area of training and ship acquisition.

The CNS observed that the AFRICOM training engagement with the Nigerian Navy’s special Boat Service (NNSBS) operatives has been of immense contribution to the successes recorded by the outfit in maritime security and counter insurgency operation in the Northeast.

Ibas however urged the AFRICOM to further assist the Nigerian Navy in the area of intelligence gathering, surveillance, supply of Ship’s spares and trainings.

He noted that the current joint Exercise Obangame Express conducted yearly by navies of the world was achieving its objectives.

He reiterated the resolve of the navy to deploy more Ships to maintain the current record of sea patrol in order to tackle maritime security challenges.

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