6-day joint military exercise ends in Calabar
Thursday, November 25, 2010
The operation, Code-named Operation NEMO, is a joint operation organised in conjunction with the Army and Air Force to exercise its officers, equipment and fighting capability. It is specifically aimed at testing the operational capability of Nigerian Navy warships and platform in the protection of deep sea oil and gas installations against economic saboteurs.
Additionally, the ships were tested on how accurately the Naval vessels could track other ships and aircraft.
It involved a total of five naval vessels, two light weight Augusta helicopters, three special boats, a Nigerian Army amphibious platoon and a Nigerian Air Force Maritime Patrol Aircraft. The naval warships include the two latest inventory to the Navy – NNS Zaria and NNS BURUTU, two of the four cat-class bouy tenders transferred to the Navy by the United States Coast Guard – NNS NWAMBA and NNS KYANWA and the naval tug boat – TUG DOLPHIN RIMA.
The joint exercise was conducted in the area around the Calabar Fair Way Bouy (FWB) and south of Bonny FWB, a strategic gateway for Nigeria critical for the economic survival of the nation.
Air Chief Marshal Petinrin told the troops at NNS Victory jetty that “the President and Commander-in Chief has expressed his satisfaction with this exercise. You are also aware that it is only when train that we are sure of success. If we are to fight together, we must train together. And that is the whole essence that you have just started. We are very happy with this. And very early in the year, there will be an exercise of a larger scale but similar to this so that more people will participate.
“The exercise has gone very well and we are very happy about that. The exercise couldn’t have come at a better time. What we learnt at this exercise will be very in next year’s exercise. And with all the other joint exercises we have been having, plus the ones we are planning, we will have a well committed and willing troops ready to get the job done. It is a very professional exercise.”
Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ola Saa’d Ibrahim said that the “primary aim of this operation is to curb out drastically activities of militant groups and conduct search and rescue of three oil tankers off Bonny FWB as well as safely escort them to their destination. It is also aimed at testing the operational state of Nigerian Navy ships and aircraft as well as the operational capability of Navy logistics in supporting and sustaining sea operations.
“It is also to test the ability of the Navy’s surface and air assets to operate together, accuracy of Naval gunnery, evaluate the extent the Navy can logistically support operations involving major and minor surface and air units. It is also to evaluate the Navy’s Command and Control especially in integrating small boat operations with that of major combat forces and test the Navy’s Search and Rescue capabilities especially in sea operations.”