Nigerian Navy SBS commandos and a U.S Navy Instructor at the multinational sea drill, EXERCISE OBANGAME 2013
(Photo Credit: Nigerian Navy)
JOHN C. STENNIS SPACE CENTER
Jul 16, 2013
NAVSCIATTS Public Affairs
* NAVSCIATTS Provides Technical and Strategic Expertise as Nigerians Launch Tactical Riverine Operations Course
A program to assist African security force partners to develop security capacity has culminated in the delivery of patrol craft and the establishment of ongoing training efforts designed to improve Nigerian coastal and riverine security.
The program, which includes a training
partnership between Naval Small Craft
Instruction and Technical Training School (NAVSCIATTS) and the Nigerian Joint Maritime Security Training Center (JMSTC), is specifically designed to address recent trends in which, for the first time,incidents of piracy in western Africa have overtaken incidents in eastern Africa, as recently reported by the International Maritime Bureau.
JMSTC initially opened in 2010 as a
capacity-building initiative with help
from the government of the United
Kingdom as Nigeria’s first fully-dedicated maritime security and littoral and riverine operations training center. NAVSCIATTS’ role as the only Department
of Navy Security Cooperation enabling
schoolhouse operating under the United
States Special Operations Command led to numerous exchanges between the two organizations, according to Cmdr. John Cowan, NAVSCIATTS commanding officer, all of which were intended to support the upcoming launch and success of JMSTC’s first Tactical Riverine Operations Course (TROC) in Lagos, Nigeria, from July 13 to Sept. 6, 2013.
“From the beginning, JMSTC coordinated
through Security Force Assistance
channels to send key leaders to
NAVSCIATTS’ in-resident and instructor
development training,” said Cowan. “They also requested support from NAVSCIATTS Mobile Training Teams (MTTs),who deployed to Nigeria to teach best practices and provide their staff on-the-job training.” As a result,NAVSCIATTS personnel have conducted three MTT events to include Patrol Craft Officer Riverine and Outboard Motor Maintenance (OBM) training in 2011, Instructor Development and OBM training in 2012, and Patrol Craft Hull Maintenance and OBM instruction in 2013.
A pre-deployment site survey team
deployed to Nigeria in 2010 to meet with JMSTC leadership to better understand the personnel, equipment and training requirements of the center. In addition, Nigerian partners have filled nearly 30 in-resident training slots at NAVSCIATTS since 2010, according to
Cowan, to include training in riverine and coastal operations, hull maintenance, outboard motor maintenance, instructor development, tactical communications, and strategic-level small craft to combat terrorism.
The training partnership also supports
U.S. Africa Command’s guiding principles,which state in part that AFRICOM activities, plans and operations are centered on the fact that a safe, secure and stable Africa is in our national interest; over the long run it will be Africans who will best be able to address African security challenges; and, that AFRICOM most effectively advances U.S. security interests through focused
security engagement with our African partners.
“TROC was tailored after the training that many of our personnel have already
received during the NAVSCIATTS Patrol
Craft Officer – Riverine course,” said Lt.
Jibril Umar Abdullahi, a JMSTC instructor
and graduate of the NAVSCIATTS Strategic Level Small Craft Combating
Terrorism Course in July 2012. “This new
course and training would not have been possible without the support and training we have all received from NAVSCIATTS.” At least four of the TROC instructors were trained at NAVSCIATTS, according to Abdullahi, and the center will also benefit from the training that the maintenance officer received at NAVSCIATTS.
”He has been relentless in transferring all the skills he learned to the technicians under him in an effort to achieve planned maintenance of equipment goals at the center,” said Abdullahi.
Nigerian Defense Headquarters planned
the new course as part of an on-going
initiative to develop JMSTC into a regional “Training Center of Excellence” for the entire western African sub-region. Such efforts reinforce the intent of NAVSCIATTS’ leadership and staff, who
consider building such centers under the
“Train-the-Trainer” model as a core
component of their mission.
“We were very honored when asked to
work with JMSTC as their personnel are
primarily provided by the Nigerian Navy
Special Boat Service, a group that is well-known for high levels of professionalism,tactical skill, and maturity as well as their use of restraint in complex situations,” said Cowan. “As our daily focus here is on building relationships, professional leadership development, operational level engagement, maintenance, strategic level instruction and human rights development; this seemed like a great
opportunity to work together.”
“The fact that JMSTC recently took delivery of six 25-foot patrol boats facilitated by the U.S. Embassy through the Foreign Military Sales program shows that the system is working and that we are all committed to a long-standing relationship with Nigeria and its quest to collaborate in securing the region’s maritime domain,” he said.