The Nigerian Navy on Friday flagged off OPERATION OKUN ALAFIA II (Calm Water) to ensure that the country‘s waters remain safe and free from criminals.
Rear Adm. Oladele Daji, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, during the ceremony on board NNS UNITY, in Lagos said that the exercise would enhance human capacity development.
Daji said that the 30 days exercise which would be in three folds was also to ensure that the backwaters was safe.
“We have been conducting series of exercises at the command level. The purpose of OKUN ALAFIA II is in three folds; one, to consolidate on the gains of the previous operations.
“Western, Central and Eastern Naval Command to have handshake at sea, so that criminals from the west to central and vice versa does not have the leeway to do that,” he said.
“We are carrying out operations in our backwaters to ensure that those that are already at sea does not have the freedom to be terrorising people in the backwaters.
”Every activity that is taking place at sea, the ultimate goal is on land and the benefits.
“Within the creeks, the channels and the adjoining land areas, the operational basis and the forward operational bases will be conducting clearance operations to take the battle to the criminal hideouts,” Daji said.
The FOC reassured the public that the command was ready to provide necessary conducive environment for legitimate businesses on the waterways.
He urged members of the public to freely divulge credible information to get rid of criminals in their localities.
Some of the evolutions conducted include, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS- Opposed Boarding), Fleet Maneuvers, Communication Drills, Medical Evacuation (MEDEVA), Lowering and Recovery of Boat.
A total of eight ships, two helicopters and a detachment of Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service (SBS) participated in the Exercise.
The ships include: NNS PROSPERITY, NNS EKUN, NNS NGURU, NNS EKULU, NNS OSUN, NNS OSE, TUG RIMA and TUG CDR UGWU as well as two NN helicopters and a detachment of NN SBS.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the command had earlier engaged in exercises and operations such as OPERATION JUNCTION RAIN; EXERCISE SWIFT RESPONSE; EXERCISE ATEGUN ALAFIA; EXERCISE OKUN ALAFIA I and TREASURE GUARD II.