Just A Game? Gulf Of Guinea Maritime Forces Exercising

Just A Game? Gulf Of Guinea Maritime Forces Exercising

In an effort to counter illegal sea-based activity, maritime forces are participating in a maritime exercise, now underway involving Gulf of Guinea countries, the U.S., Europe, South America, and others, according to Naval-Technology.com.

Participants in the Obangame Express 2015 will be trained on skills that include search and rescue, boarding techniques, medical response, radio communication, and information management.

African countries participating in Obangame Express 2015 include Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) members, Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) members and the island nation of São Tomé & Principe.

ECOWAS members include Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Cape Verde.

ECCAS members include Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Democratic Republic of Congo, and Equatorial Guinea.

Other participating countries include Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S.

The nine-day Obangame Express exercise is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), according to the report. The goal is to improve maritime domain awareness, regional cooperation, information-sharing, and tactical interdiction expertise to enhance the collective capabilities of Gulf of Guinea nations.

“Every nation represented in the exercise plays a critical role in not only their own nation’s maritime security, but the security of the entire region,” said Capt. John Rinko, Obangame Express 2015 tactical command officer. “Each year of Obangame Express, we build on the successes of the previous year to mature the coordination between nations, develop a higher level of cooperation and improve the capability and capacity of our maritime forces.”

In this photo from DVIDS, an Ivory Coast boarding team member provides security March 21, 2015, during a simulated illegal fishing scenario aboard the German Navy vessel FGS Brandenburg as part of the underway phase of Obangame Express 2015.