Monday, June 24, 2024

Exercise Obangame Express 2024 Concluded by African and International Maritime Forces

Heading: Conclusion of Exercise Obangame Express 2024 Marks Success in Enhancing Maritime Security in Africa

“32 Nations Conclude Successful Maritime Exercise Obangame Express 2024 in Africa”

After two weeks of intensive training and collaboration, 32 nations in Africa’s West Coast and the Gulf of Guinea celebrated the successful conclusion of exercise Obangame Express 2024 at a closing ceremony in Libreville, Gabon, on May 17.

Obangame Express is Africa’s premier maritime exercise aimed at enhancing communications between navies, improving interoperability, and strengthening the maritime security environment. The exercise provides realistic training scenarios for participating nations to tackle challenges such as illegal fishing, piracy, and illicit trafficking that threaten economic vitality and global commerce in the region.

The exercise commenced with an opening ceremony attended by Gabonese Defense Minister Major General Brigitte Onkanowa, U.S. Ambassador to Gabon Vernelle Trim FitzPatrick, and Rear Adm. Michael Mattis. The collaboration between Gabon and African partners was highlighted as crucial for strengthening maritime governance and security in the region.

Throughout the exercise, participants from Cabo Verde to Senegal and Angola engaged in various land-based and at-sea events, addressing piracy, illegal fishing, and trafficking activities. Gabon served as the central hub for command and control, with a multinational team overseeing operations.

A new addition to this year’s exercise was the appointment of Nigerian Navy Captain Adagogo Jaja as the overall exercise control group lead, enhancing collaboration and coordination among nations. The exercise tested information-sharing systems under the Yaoundé Code of Conduct, a vital initiative for maritime security in West and Central Africa.

Approximately 5,000 personnel from 32 nations, including the United States, Angola, Brazil, Canada, France, and Nigeria, participated in Obangame Express 2024, completing 108 scenarios. Representatives from various maritime security centers and organizations also joined the exercise to strengthen collective law enforcement capabilities.

Through Obangame Express, the participating nations showcased their commitment to enhancing regional security and stability, fostering greater interoperability, and building enduring relationships for the safety and security of the maritime environment. The exercise demonstrated the importance of collaboration and coordination in addressing maritime security challenges in Africa.

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