A fleet of ten Nigerian Navy warships has returned to base following the conclusion of “Exercise Sea Guardian,” a military operation aimed at securing the nation’s waters and the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) from criminal activities.
The returning warships include Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) Sagbama, NNS Nwamba, NNS Ibeno, NNS Dorina, NNS Gongola, NNS Ikene, NNS Badagry, NNS Oji, NNS Ose, and NNS Okpoku.
Rear Adm. Umar Chugali, the Flag Officer Commanding Central Naval Command (CNC), announced the success of the exercise during a press briefing held in Onne, Rivers. He highlighted the various operations conducted, including anti-crude oil theft measures, vessel seizures, fleet manoeuvres, and safety drills.
“The exercise was used to exercise and demonstrate the capacity and capability of our ships at sea, to secure Nigeria’s maritime space and the Gulf of Guinea. The four-day exercise was used to highlight our readiness in tackling all forms of maritime crimes within Nigeria’s maritime environment and GoG,” he stated.
In addition to the warships, two attack helicopters and a detachment of the Navy’s Special Boat Service, similar to the United States Navy Seals, participated in the exercise.
Rear Adm. Olusola Oluwagbire, Flag Officer Commanding ENC, noted that the operation involved troops from both the eastern and central naval commands, situated in Calabar and Yenagoa, respectively. The exercise formed part of Nigeria Navy’s strategy to combat crude oil theft, sea robbery, sea piracy, and other criminal activities in Nigeria’s waters.
“We are using this exercise to test our capability and readiness to safeguard our waters and the GoG from criminals. We are doing our best to present the best foot (personnel) in our deployments—both in terms of personnel and assets,” Oluwagbire stated.
Cdr. Stephen Ebute, Commanding Officer of NNS Sagbama, highlighted the exercise’s role in enhancing the expertise of troops in onshore and offshore operations. He stressed that it served as a platform for personnel, including commanding officers of various warships, to refine their training objectives and operational skills, enabling them to respond expertly to emergencies and maritime threats.
The conclusion of “Exercise Sea Guardian” marks a significant step in Nigeria’s efforts to enhance maritime security and safeguard its waters from criminal activities.