The Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy (NN) as part of its goals to check the effeciency of its personnel to operations ended its three-day simulated exercise on sea on Tuesday .
The exercise named ‘Ategun Alafia’ was aimed at creating a conducive crime free maritime environment within the command’s area of responsibility for economic activities to thrive for the prosperity of the nation.
Commodore Elkanah Jaiyeola, the Fleet Commander, Western Fleet who assessed the exercise, commended the officers who participated saying that it was excellently done.
“The exercise has been excellently done in the sense that expectedly on the maritime interdiction operation conducted, that is the visit, board, search and seizure.
“What we call vertical replenishment at sea was also done with one of our ships.
“As far as I am concerned, the essence is to check the effectiveness of our men and their reactions to operations and from what we have seen, I will say that they performed excellently well,” he said.
He said the visit, board, search and seizure exercise was quite important because of piracy and illegal activities which had to do with arms and weapons.
“If you observe within the maritime environment, incidents are very prevalent in this area, piracy issues, illegal activities that have to do with arms and weapons,”he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reporter that was onboard with the NNS UNITY, reports that one of the ships (UNITY) was assumed to be a rogue ship involved in piracy attack.
The NN vectored a helicopter to go on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and after it had reported its findings, some patrol boats at sea were vectored to track-search the vessel.
NAN reports that the vessel objected to surrendering to the patrol boats from the Naval personnel which made them to force their way onboard.
The commodore explained that the Naval personnel had to force their way into the ship to ensure that those captured were released.
He that in the course of rescue, there might be incidence of gunshot wounds, saying that medical evacuation was ideal at such a time.
“In the course of releasing the captives, incidence of gunshots might occur and that is why we used to follow up our operations with medical evacuation, we assumed that we have one casualty on board.
“It is not as if we do not have in-house hospital but sometimes the incident can go beyond what we can manage, so we evacuate to the reference hospital at Ojo, ” he said.
He added that the vertical replenishment at sea was also conducted which saw one of the ships needing some stocks.
The fleet commander said that he was impressed with the vertical replenishment exercise, saying that the NN kept improving.
“If you look at the vertical replenishment exercise and the performance of the helicopter, you will not have believed that some five years or 10 years ago, a black man can do such and here is the NN doing it successfully,” he said.
The exercise which started on Sept. 29 ended on Oct. 1.