The U.S Navy ship, USS Hershel “Woody” Williams, arrived in Lagos to enable Nigeria in the fight against Piracy, which has made the Gulf of Guinea the global epicentre for piracy. The ship would also be permanently assigned to Africa.
US Consul General, Claire Pierangelo said that the ship which arrived in Lagos on Saturday would be permanently assigned to Africa as a sign of the U.S government’s mission to fight piracy in the Gulf.
“Ship visits like this one clearly demonstrate the U.S.’s continued dedication to our partners in the Gulf of Guinea as they strive for security of their resources, their economy, and their people,” Pierangelo said.
“We’re here to train and work with the Nigerian Navy on anti-piracy, tactics, techniques and procedures,” the ship’s captain, Chad Graham added.
According to Nairametrics founder, Ugochukwu “Ugodre” who was part of a selected team that was given a tour of the ship, it was revealed that the ship carries up to 300 crew but had 150 on it at the moment. In addition, the ship also carries warplanes and has a drone.
The US Navy confirmed that Nigeria purchased one of the drones. They however didn’t confirm if the drones have combat capabilities but stated that the drones can take pictures of enemy zones and report back information in real-time.
In case you missed it
- Nairametrics reported in January that the International Maritime Bureau in its Annual Piracy report said that 135 crew members were kidnapped from their vessels, with the Gulf of Guinea accounting for over 95% kidnapped in 22 separate incidents.
- By July, thanks to efforts by concerned governments, piracy in the region fell to its lowest level since Q2 2019. It however still led globally with 32% of all reported incidents and accounted for all kidnapped 50 crew and single crew fatality during the first half of 2021.