7 October 2013

Nigeria: Military Begins Joint Training With U.S., UK, Others

Photo: U.S. Army
U.S. Army Africa trains Nigerian Ranger Battalion for full spectrum operations Kontagora Grandstand and Impact/Maneuver Area

The Nigerian military, in conjunction with special forces from the United Kingdom, United States, Spain and Netherlands have begun a joint training to enhance its capacity to combat terrorism in the county's maritime environment.

Rear Adm. Babalola Ogunjimi, the Nigerian Navy's Chief of Training and Operations, who said this at news conference in Abuja yesterday, said the exercise would involve personnel.

He said that 150 of them are drawn from units of the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air Force, while 739 are from the foreign Special Forces.

Ogunjimi said that the training called "African Winds", began on October 3, and was expected to last for 14 days and would be followed by four days exercise.

He said that the exercise would be conducted by Mobile Training Teams (MTTs) of the Special Forces in Lagos and Calabar, respectively.

"It is expected that the African Winds training and exercise will further improve the capacity of the Nigerian armed forces to deal with numerous security challenges in the Gulf of the Guinea," he said.

He said some of the challenges include crude oil theft and attacks on merchant ships.

Ogunjimi said the exercise in Lagos will take place between Oct. 15 and Oct. 18 at Ibeshe Beach and the Navy ordinance Depot (NOD) Waterfront.

He said that the Calabar exercise would hold between October 21 and October 24 at the Tinapa and Muddy Beach in the state and Oron Beach in Akwa Ibom.

Ogunjimi said "other exercises to be conducted in Calabar include Riverine and Jungle operations which would be carried by a combined force from U.S., UK and the Netherland marines."

He said that an amphibious raid exercise planned and executed by troops from the Army, Navy Special Boat Service and the NNS Jubilee would be conducted at Oron Beach to end the exercise.

He said the ship contains 688 troops, four helicopters and six special boats called Landing Craft Utility (LCU) and Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP).

African winds is the nickname for a maritime capacity building training programmes for the armed forces of Nigeria in conjunction with the Netherland Maritime Forces under the U.S. sponsored African Partnership Station.

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