The U.S Coast Guard announced it has started a training exercise with the Nigerian Navy on Maritime Law enforcement, part of a series of cooperations between the two countries in the fight against piracy.
This was disclosed in a statement by the U.S Consulate in Nigeria seen by Nairametrics on Wednesday afternoon. They revealed that twenty-four officers of the Nigerian Navy are participating in a four-week intensive U.S Coast Guard Boarding Officer training program which kicked off on Monday, August 30.
The statement added that six trainers from the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center in Yorktown, Virginia arrived Lagos to lead the capacity building exercise which seeks to strengthen maritime law enforcement capabilities in Nigerian waters, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea.
“Sponsored by the U.S. Africa Command, the training will explore a variety of internationally recognized techniques and procedures for maritime law enforcement at sea in a safe and professional manner.
“The training offered by the U.S. Coast Guard will highlight more challenging scenarios and tactics in the use of force, evidence processing, arrest procedures, and perseverance.
“In addition, participants will explore best practices in countering illicit maritime activities such as illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; the trafficking of weapons, narcotics, and people; as well as the ongoing threat of piracy and oil infrastructure insecurity,” they said.
They added that the U.S. Coast Guard training is part of a close and continuous military partnership between the United States and Nigeria spanning decades to strengthen defence ties and promote regional security, citing officers of the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service and a team of U.S. Army Special Forces completed a five-week Joint Combined Exchange Training also known as J-CET last month.
Both countries are currently working on multiple military engagements including the African Lion, Flintlock, and Obangame Express, as well as strategic maritime security forums.
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Recall Nairametrics reported last month that 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.
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 time. In addition, the ship also carries warplanes and has a drone.
Also, last week, General Jeffrey Harrigian of the United States Africa Command stated that the arrival of the A-29 Super Tucanos to Nigeria is an opportunity to broaden areas of cooperation between Nigeria and the United States in a bid to contain the insecurity in Nigeria.