Brazilian Navy ship participates in international exercise in African regionBrazilian Navy ship participates in international exercise in African region

Operation in the Gulf of Guinea aims to increase maritime security in the South Atlantic

By Captain-Lieutenant Luciano Franklin de Carvalho – Brasília, DF

The multinational military exercise in the West African coast known as “Obangame Express” ended its maritime phase last Thursday (2). Conducted by the United States, the operation is conducted annually and aims to combat piracy, illegal fishing and drug trafficking in the Gulf of Guinea. The Ocean Patrol Vessel “Araguari” from the Brazilian Navy (MB) participated in this year’s edition, in which 33 countries took part.

Commercial relations between Brazil and African countries end up being affected by maritime insecurity in the region. The country has sought to collaborate in tackling the problem by offering courses and training for African countries in Brazilian military academies and by the Navy’s participation in naval exercises with countries from that continent.

The Commander of the “Araguari”, Frigate Captain Marcio Jorge dos Santos, explains that the participation of the MB has great strategic relevance for the development of the capabilities of the Naval Forces in combating illicit activities at sea, which contributes to the stability of the South Atlantic.

“The environment where the operation takes place has been, in recent years, the ‘hot spot’ for piracy and other illicit activities at sea. This condition means that, under a tactical analysis, the mission is effectively a great opportunity to improve procedures, to exchange real experiences, and to identify possibilities for cooperation between Navies,” he says.

The Brazilian ship left for the mission on January 28 of this year and carried out several exercises of different levels of complexity with the Navy of Angola, the Republic of Congo, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Among the activities, scenarios involving human trafficking, illegal immigration, arms and drugs trafficking, illegal fishing, kidnapping, piracy, environmental pollution, and search and rescue were simulated.

“The great innovation of this edition was the permanent search for simultaneous action by the three countries, with mixed tactical teams, acting under the same objective, with a division of tasks and in close coordination, proving at sea the perception that the integration among the Forces contributes significantly to stability in the region,” says the Commander.

The Master of the Ship, Sub-Officer Leonardo Alves de Albuquerque, concluded another edition of Obangame Express and says that with each task it was possible to verify the progress of the countries. “The exercise allowed us to compare the operational procedures used, exchange experiences, and strengthen the bonds of friendship among the participating nations. It was gratifying to see the professionalism and seriousness of the military personnel involved,” he says.

*** Translated by the DEFCONPress FYI team ***

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