By Bukar Bolori
As part of Nigeria’s military collaboration with the United States, 24 officers of the Nigerian Navy are currently participating in a four-week intensive U.S. Coast Guard Boarding Officer training programme which kicked off on Monday, August 30.
According to a statement from the US Embassy in Nigeria, six trainers from the U.S. Coast Guard Training Centre in Yorktown, Virginia are in Lagos to lead the capacity building programme which seeks to strengthen maritime law enforcement capabilities in Nigerian waters, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea.
The training which is sponsored by the U.S. Africa Command, according to the statement, will explore a variety of internationally recognized techniques and procedures for maritime law enforcement at-sea in a safe and professional manner.
The training offered by the U.S. Coast Guard will highlight more challenging scenarios and tactics in the use of force, evidence processing, arrest procedures, and perseverance.
In addition, participants will explore best practices in countering illicit maritime activities such as illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; the trafficking of weapons, narcotics, and people; as well as the ongoing threat of piracy and oil infrastructure insecurity.
The U.S. Coast Guard training is part of a close and continuous military partnership between the United States and Nigeria spanning decades to strengthen defense ties and promote regional security.
Last month, officers assigned to USS Hershel “Woody” Williams visited Lagos and participated in a three-day at sea training exercise with Nigerian offshore patrol vessels.
In July, 25 officers of the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service and a team of U.S. Army Special Forces completed a five-week Joint Combined Exchange Training also known as J-CET.
Nigeria and the United States work together in multiple bilateral and multilateral military exercises, including African Lion, Flintlock, and Obangame Express, as well as strategic maritime security forums.
The U.S. government has been working closely with all the services of the Nigerian military to provide technical assistance, equipment, and professional exchange and training opportunities.