US, Nigerian forces train together

Gulf of Guinea remains piracy hotspot. 

US, Nigerian forces train for maritime security

Story by 1st Lt. Maida Kalic

NAVAL AIR STATION SIGONELLA, Italy – Illicit and uncontrolled activities, including trafficking, piracy, and illegal and unregulated fishing are a few of the security challenges Africa faces on the maritime front.

The safety of the security sector at sea is important not only to the communities that live near the sea but also to maritime trade, ocean resources and multilateral relations at the international level.

Maritime readiness and security begins at the lowest level, with maintenance to ensure equipment is ready for conducting operations. A small team of U.S. Coast Guardsmen joined forces with Marine Corps 1st Lt. Brian Elender, from SPMAGTF Crisis Response-Africa, to work alongside service members of the Nigerian Navy for a training engagement that will began in December.

“By training with our Nigerian partners, we hope to enhance maintenance-based tactics, techniques, and procedures which will help sustain the equipment needed for maritime security while also enhancing interoperability between our militaries,” said Elender, a Florence, S.C., native.

This training engagement will cover basic maintenance, electrical and mechanical skills, and general troubleshooting for small boat engines; the service members will share knowledge of these topics to build operational capacity between the two forces.

“A typical day for us will start in a class room setting,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian Garney, a Holden, Mass., native and Coast Guardsmen with SPMAGTF-CR-AF.

“Once we finish the classroom instruction we plan to move outside for the afternoon and conduct hands-on training—demonstrating some of the topics covered earlier in the day.”

Marines, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen with SPMAGTF-CR-AF conduct theater security cooperation through military-to-military engagements to assist partner nations in addressing security challenges.


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