French, British and Spanish Navies in Exercise NEMO
The fourth annual edition of the NEMO (Navy’s Exercise for Maritime Operations) took place from October 27 to November 5, 2015.
As part of French Navy’s mission of permanent presence of French forces in the Gulf of Guinea, exercise NEMO was designed to test the ability of littoral Marines to coordinate in the field of maritime safety in the Gulf of Guinea, particularly in the fight against illicit trafficking and piracy.
The exercise started off Ghana on October 27, 2015, with fifteen units taking part, including the British Small Fleet Tanker HMS Gold Rover, the Spanish patrol vessel ESPS Centinela and the French BPC Mistral. The British and Spanish ships, combined with the presence of a Danish liaison officer aboard BPC Mistral made a statement on the willingness of European partners to strengthen their coordination for the benefit of African navies in the region and the enhancement of maritime safety.
At the very start of the exercise, BPC Mistral met with HMS Gold Rover for a RAS session and a demonstration of interoperability capabilities. A Danish officer, a Spanish officer and three leaders of Cameroonian navy were onboard BPC Mistral to actively cooperate with the French sailors.
In the following days, the exercise included patrol boats identifying vessels suspected of illegal actions such as carrying suspicious cargo or piracy activities. The collected information was then shared with the regional centers which launched at-sea operations. The vessels were boarded and inspections of cargo and crew were carried out. Simulations of man overboard maneuvers or fire starts were also included in the exercises.
During its nine days, this edition of NEMO saw the participation of eight nations bordering the Gulf of Guinea and three European countries. 15 vessels and several operational centers ashore took part in different sequences carried out in connection with regional response centers.
Naval Today Staff, Image: French Navy