In a combined effort aimed at combating illegal activities along the Nigerian water ways, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and Nigerian Navy (NN) at a recent joint maritime operation code-named “Operation Saukan Mikiya” re-strategized to wipe out criminalities.
The two days operation took place on September 3 and 4, around Port Harcourt, Brass River, Bonny River and seawards up to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
During the exercise, the Nigerian Navy deployed some patrol boats along the creeks of Bonny and Brass Rivers. NNS CENTENARY and NNS OKPABANNA were also positioned at the entry points into the rivers respectively to monitor and block suspicious vessels within the creeks and the high sea.
The Nigerian Air Force also used its ATR 42 Maritime Patrol Aircraft to locate suspicious vessels within the creeks and high sea as well as to report positions, names and other details to NNS OKPABANNA which was the air control ship for the exercise.
A statement issued by the Director, Public Relations of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Dele Alonge, explained that the overall objective of the exercise is to enhance the security of Nigerian coastal resources and offshore interests by assessing the capabilities of the NAF and NN in terms of monitoring and apprehending erring vessels which are essential components of maritime security.
“At the successful completion of the exercise, the much needed synergy between the NAF and NN was achieved as visual contact and communication were established with NNS OKPABANA and NNS CENTENARY.
“The NAF ATR 42 also monitored from the coast into the sea and using Aeronautical Information System (AIS) to view into high sea up to EEZ.”