Ex Eja Expression: Navy embarks on exercise to curb illegal fishing

Sun, Nov 19, 2023
By editor


THE Western Naval Command Fourth Quarter Sea Exercise code named EX EJA EXPRESSION will help to combat Illegal Unregulated and Unreported Fishing (IUUF) and other maritime crimes in the GuIf of Guinea.

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Adm. Mustapha Hassan, said that the exercise would include fleet manoeuvres and gunnery geared toward working up the ships in terms of war fighting.

The exercise was flagged off on Saturday by the FOC, Western Naval Doctrine Command, Rear Adm. Habilla Zakaria.

Hassan said that the name of the Ex was taken from both the Yoruba and English languages in which the first word “EJA” means fish in English.

“The exercise is a multi-faceted outing and the name gives an inclination of one the ideas behind it.

“It is well known that Illegal Unregulated and Unreported Fishing (IUUF) is significant in the GuIf of Guinea.

“Therefore, to hone our skills in our policing role, we will train today on vertical insertion and Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) using our helicopters and interceptor boats,” he said.

The FOC added that other exercises like communication, seamanship evolutions among others would also form part of the operation.

“The Western Naval Command is therefore launching this exercise to work up her ships and personnel in keeping up with our constitutional responsibilities.

“EX EJA EXPRESSION will greatly enhance the proficiency of Nigerian Navy personnel in the command and also enable us test the operational state of our machineries,” Hassan said.

He said that the exercise was being carried out in collaboration with other stakeholders and government agencies such as the Nigerian Maritime and Security Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Police and the Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

“Having other governmental agencies participating will further provide the avenue for us to strengthen our level of interoperability and collaboration.

“This collaboration will help towards securing our waters and the common goal of promoting a vibrant blue economy,” the FOC said.

Hassan thanked the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, for the unwavering support given to the Command to conduct the exercise and other operations in their area of responsibility.

“This has collectively provided a safer environment for economic activities to thrive.

“The Nigerian Navy remains committed and indeed the Western Naval Command toward providing the necessary conducive environment to carry out legitimate businesses in our waterways,” the FOC said.

Also speaking, the FOC, Western Naval Doctrine Command, Rear Adm. Habilla Zakaria, who flagged off the exercise said that the exercise was to assess the fleets readiness to  combat situations.

“The function of the Western Naval Doctrine Command is to conduct combat readiness assessments of all the fleets within the Nigeria Navy.

“ This is to ensure that the fleets are always prepared to carry out their functions, whether during wartime or peacetime,” he said.

Zakaria said that the assessment would be based on conducting maritime operations, aspects of war fighting, checking how the ships carry out exercises to evaluate their major operational readiness.

“In a nutshell, as a Naval Doctrine Command, we will assess and work on them, contributing to the combatant CNS exercises,” he said. (NAN) 


November 19, 2023 @ 8:06 GMT|