Navy flags of   “Okun Alafia II” operation  to boost maritime security

Navy flags of   “Okun Alafia II” operation  to boost maritime security
Chinazor Megbolu    |   
The Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy has unveiled exercise Okun Alafia II, which in Yoruba language means “Calm Water”
The exercise was meant to boost  maritime safety and security on the nation’s territorial waters.
The Flag Officer Commanding, FOC Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, in his address during the unveiling, said the move will help to curb insecurity in the maritime domain in its area of command, namely; Lagos up to 200 nautical miles of the nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
The Command pointed out that
eight ships; NNS Prosperity, NNS Ekun, NNS Nguru, NNS Ekulu, NNS Osun, NNS Ose, TUG Rima and TUG CDR Ugwu, including two helicopters and a detachment of the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service, SBS, have been deployed for the operations slated to last 30 days.
Daji also noted that the operation was in continuation of similar ongoing exercises being carried out by the Command.
He buttressed that the same exercise was simultaneously launched at the Central and Eastern commands of the Navy.
“In the course of carrying out our statutory responsibility of protecting the Nigeria’s maritime domain from the western flank, the command engaged in series of exercises and operations of this nature in the past, which included Operation Junction Rain, Exercise Swift Response, Exercise Ategun Alafia, Exercise Okun Alafia 1, and Treasure Guard II.
“These series of exercises and operations resulted in several arrest and handover of suspects and platforms used in committing illegalities by criminals, to relevant law enforcement agencies for prosecution.
“The essence of Operation Okun Alafia II, is in furtherance of the strategic directive and mission of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral  Ibok Ete-Ibas, which is to develop a Naval force that is well trained, organised and highly motivated to discharge its constitutional roles professionally and efficiently for the defense of Nigeria, in ensuring her economic prosperity.
”The purpose of Okun Alafia II, is in three folds: to consolidate on the gains of the previous operations; to have a hand shake with the three operational commands at sea so that criminals crossing from the west to the central, or from the east to central,  do not have a lee way to do that.
“Thirdly, by also carrying out operation in our back waters to ensure that criminals already at sea do not have free opportunity to terrorise people in the back waters,” he said.
Daji, however, maintained that every activity that occurred at sea affects what would have been of benefit on land.
He added that the exercise would also cover the creeks, channels and adjoining land areas, where operational bases and the forward operational bases would conduct clearance operations by taking the battle to criminal hideouts.
According to him; “for Exercise Okun Alafia II, at the first instance, it is a 30 day long operation. It could be renewed by the Naval headquarters depending on its outcome”.
He also urged members of the public to provide useful information to Naval formations within their  localities that would help rid the nation of all forms of criminalities

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