Largest multinational maritime exercise in Western Africa set to begin

Obangame Express (OE22), the largest multinational maritime exercise in Western Africa, will kick off on 11 March at an opening ceremony in Dakar, Senegal.

With 32 participating nations, OE22 is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness (MDA), information-sharing practices, and tactical interdiction operations. It is sponsored by US Africa Command (AFRICOM).

“Obangame Express reinforces regional security partnerships and improves our joint capacity to ensure safety and security in Africa,” said a spokesperson for the US Embassy in Dakar.

“The successful execution of part of this exercise in Senegal reflects the strength of our military-to-military ties and our overall bilateral relationship.”

The exercise will be conducted in multiple areas at sea and ashore.  At-sea operations will be conducted throughout the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean.

According to the officials, numerous Maritime Operations Centers will participate ashore from across the Gulf of Guinea and West Africa, along with several international organizations.

Training opportunities during OE22 include boarding techniques, search and rescue operations, medical casualty response, radio communication, and information management techniques.

Last year, Ghana hosted Obangame Express 21.

The 32 nations scheduled to participate in OE22 include Angola, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Italy, Liberia, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Congo, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, and the United States.

Also participating will be the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). (End)”

Photo: US Navy