The Nigerian Navy (NN) has deployed 13 ships from its three operation commands, two helicopters and three foreign naval vessels to kick off a special operation tagged: “Exercise Grand African NEMO 2021”.
Flagging off the special operation yesterday at Onne, Rivers State, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral AZ Gambo, said the exercise was an initiative of the French navy in collaboration with NN and allied partners to improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
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Admiral Gambo, who was represented by the Flag Officer Commanding Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Obi Egbuchalam, said the exercise involved a multifaceted deployment at sea and ashore of naval assets drawn from the operating command of the Nigerian Navy.
He said the exercise was aimed at contributing to the freedom of navigation in Nigeria’s maritime environment and the Gulf of Guinea by strengthening coordination in the fight against maritime insecurity such as piracy, sea robbery and unregulated fishing, among others.
He revealed that the Federal High Court has convicted 10 notorious pirates arrested by the Nigerian Navy on May 15, 2020, adding that the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) recently reported a marked reduction of piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea.
Earlier, the Fleet Commander of the Naval Central Fleet, Commodore Olusanya Bankole, said all logistics had been put in place for the success of the exercise.