• Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

GRAND AFRICAN NEMO 2023: Colonel Guillaume Dujon Extol Exercise Crocodile Lift


Oct 10, 2023

The French Defense Attaché to Nigeria, Colonel Guillaume Dujon has commended the exceptional interaction between the Nigerian Navy and the French Navy, underscoring the crucial role of such partnerships in safeguarding the maritime domain.

Initiated on October 9 by Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT in Apapa, these exercises concluded on October 10.

Speaking at the conclusion of Exercise Crocodile Lift and Exercise Grand African Nemo, Colonel Dujon praised the successful collaboration between the two naval forces, especially within the complex maritime context of the Gulf of Guinea.

He commended Nigeria’s remarkable development of amphibious warfare capabilities, noting that Nigeria had become the first coastal state in Western Africa to achieve this level of proficiency.

20,000 Tons French Navy Ship

Colonel Dujon also highlighted past accomplishments in securing the maritime domain, emphasizing the vital role such alliances play in bolstering regional security and supporting international trade.

“This great interaction with the Nigerian Navy is good especially with one of our French ships at the Gulf of Guinea also extending cooperation for the control of the maritime domain.

“We also share our experience in maritime security with the assets we have at the moment,” he said.

Dujon said that the relationship between the two navies had been cordial since Ex Grand African Nemo, which was a multilateral exercise held every year with some coastal state of Guinea.

“However, Ex Crocodile Lift is a bilateral exercise in itself and it is interesting to interact on a new area, which is an amphibious warfare that is very specific.

“Nigeria is the first coastal state in Western Africa to develop such capability and I am very impressed and appreciate what the nation has achieved so far,” he said.

The Colonel said that in March, the bilateral relationship between the Nigerian Navy and French Navy yielded good result when both navies intervened to ensure that a hijacked tanker, MONJASA REFORMER was secured.

“So, it is important to ensure the security of the maritime domain especially at the Gulf of Guinea because of promoting international trade, regional security among other benefits.

“It is very important that we get to know the navies and to know how to interact with them,” Dujon said

In his assessment of the joint exercises, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) of the Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Muhammed Abdullahi expressed his satisfaction and underscored the multitude of benefits that stem from collaboration between the Nigerian Navy and the French Navy. This partnership, he affirmed, is integral to ensuring maritime security and fostering economic prosperity within the Gulf of Guinea.

Rear Admiral Abdullahi explained that the purpose of the combined exercise was to train the Nigerian Navy troops in conjunction with their foreign partners.

He stated, “Ex Crocodile Lift is a French initiative designed to facilitate sea lift operations, fostering collaboration and enhancing capabilities. While the Nigerian Navy possesses the capacity to carry out sea lifts independently, cooperation with our foreign partners aims to ensure the safety and security of our maritime environment, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea, while allowing for knowledge exchange.”

Rear Admiral Abdullahi emphasized the importance of collaborating with the French Navy as a means to share experiences, build capacity, and learn from each other.

He also highlighted the various phases of maritime crime, including crude oil theft, illegal oil bunkering, piracy, sea robbery, hostage-taking, and Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF), stating that combating these crimes required diverse tactics.

The FOC reiterated the significance of exercises like this in fostering international cooperation and enhancing the capabilities of naval officers.

He further discussed the positive impact of such collaborations in securing the maritime environment and ensuring economic prosperity.

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