MARITIME SECURITY: Navy Inaugurates Exercise Eagle Eye II, Deploys Capital Ships, Helicopters, Patrol Boats

At The Inauguration Of Exercise Eagle Eye II, And Deployment Of Capital Ships, Helicopters, Patrol Boats By The Navy Last Week.

The Nigerian Navy has inaugurated what it called Exercise Eagle Eye II and deployed several capital ships, helicopters and patrol boats to combat crude oil theft and other criminal activities in the nation’s maritime domain.

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Ibok Ete-Ibas, while briefing newsmen during the inauguration at Onne, in Port Harcourt, Rivers, said the exercise was to consolidate on the gains of 2016 Exercise Eagle Eye I.

Ibas said it was also designed to assess the operational readiness of the NN fleet to conduct maritime policing operations, including anti-piracy and riverine operations.

He said it was also mounted on a joint platform with incorporation of elements of sister services while collaborating with other security agencies in intelligence gathering.

This, Ibas said, was with the view to promoting inter-agency cooperation and coordination for the enhancement of maritime security in the country as well as the Gulf of Guinea.

He stated that, “it has been stated in several fora that the imperative for maritime security is consequent upon the nation’s geostragetic realities and the accompanying impacts on its well being.

“As a littoral state, Nigeria has a high dependence on the maritime environment for her economic survival.

“Shipping activities exploitation and exploration of maritime resources, as well as use of port facilities, have consistently been the main source of the revenue that drives the nation’s budget,” he said.

The CNS, however, noted that the maritime domain had been plagued with illegal activities such as piracy, crude oil theft, robbery, kidnapping and other criminal activities.

He said these criminal activities had posed a serious challenge to the operational capability and capacity of the NN, and even festering insecurity within and around the nation’s maritime domain.

“In order to maintain its tractions and to stay ahead of the miscreants, the service has utilised both kinetic and non-kinetic means to checkmate their ignoble activities.

“To also neutralise the activities of the criminals, the NN has so far activated a number of operational initiatives such as operation ‘Tsare Teku’, Choke Point Management and Control Regime with deployment of House Boats.

“Re-organisation of capital ships, deployment, exploitation of STUFT concept, additional deployment of over 100 riverine boats, UPCs and MDA facilities,” he said.

Ibas said that through a tailored information, the NN had also mounted a strong advocacy for community sensitisation to dissuade and re-orientate the locals from further involvement in criminal tendencies.

He said that NN had in recent times, significantly tackled the negative trend of maritime insecurity and substantially degraded the evil network of these criminal perpetrators.

“Notwithstanding the achieved successes, the potential for reversal of the gains exists as the militants and the economic saboteurs continue to multiply in groups to pose palpable threats of attacks on the nation’s critical assets.

“The operational approach toward containing these threats will continue to demand proactive surveillance and profiling of criminal intentions with the use of MDA facilities and other sources to obtain credible actionable intelligence,” he said.