LAGOS, Nigeria (April 15, 2014) – U.S. and German service members discuss room-clearing tactics with Nigerian sailors (Special Boat Service commandos) during tactical moments drill at exercise Obangame Express 2014 (OE-14).
OE-14 is a Gulf of Guinea-based multinational maritime exercise designed to improve cooperation, interdiction expertise and information sharing among West and
Central African maritime forces in order to increase maritime safety and security in the region.
(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman
Author Alexander Drechsel, Adrian Kriesch /jrb
Editor Sean Sinico
A German officer whose name can’t be disclosed observes the scene. After 10 days of joint training, his initial doubts have largely disappeared.
Not only are the Nigerian boarding soldiers well trained, but Nigerian members of the Special Boat Service (SBS) are also well equipped. “Their boats, for instance, are powered by
250-PS motors,” he said. In these rubber dinghies, the SBS team members chase suspicious vessels in pursuit of oil thieves or pirates.
“This isn’t fun when it’s real,” one member of the SBS team said. The unit with about 200 soldiers is among the Nigerian (military)’s special forces.In the six years of its existence, the soldiers have boarded and
searched numerous boats.
Grateful for support
Other maritime units still lack this
experience, on the other hand, and are grateful for the practical support provided by German and the US teams. “Everything is fine; we came without anything but were equipped so that we can now search ships,” said one soldier from Ghana.
A colleague from Nigeria added: “We
have come together here to share
experiences – I really appreciate it.”