20 November 2012

Gambia: Maritime Training for 20 Navy Personnel Underway

The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), in collaboration with the United States African Partnership Station, on Monday began a two-week maritime training for 20 personnel of the Gambia Navy, at the Naval Command base in Banjul. The training will be centered on boarding vessels, communication, general maritime security operations, controlling drug trafficking, amongst others.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the deputy chief of Defence Staff, Major General Saikou Seckan, said the training is a continuous process, noting that the role of the Navy is of paramount importance, given The Gambia as a costal country.

The GAF's No.2 went on to indicate that the Navy has been engaged in many positive activities including giving aid to the civilian population, especially commuters at the Banjul-Barra crossing point. "The training should improve the working conduction as well as the maintenance of the fleet and other equipment," he further underscored.

In Major Gen. Seckan's view, assisting The Gambia Navy with the required skills will help to reduce burden on the US Navy, adding that global partnership is what is needed to tackle the problems.

The deputy head of mission the US Embassy, Rick Yoncoka, for his part, announced that by next week a naval ship HSV will arrive in The Gambia to take the ongoing training to the next level.

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