The exercise Obangame Express 2021, is a US Africa Command (AFRICOM) exercise designed to enhance regional cooperation, "maritime domain awareness" (Maritime domain awareness), information-sharing practices and tactical interdiction skills to enhance the collective capacities of Gulf of Guinea and West African nations to counter illegal activities at sea.
This exercise, now in its eleventh year, is one of the three major regional exercises of the US Naval Forces of Europe and Africa Command and is part of an overall strategy by CNE-CNA / C6F and AFRICOM to provide opportunities for collaboration between African forces and international partners to address maritime security problems.
Obangame Express 2021 will be conducted in multiple areas, both sea and land, with sea operations being conducted throughout the Gulf of Guinea, with the support of numerous maritime operations centers (MOC).
Operations will focus on specific skills that include boarding techniques, search and rescue operations, medical accident response, radio communications and information management techniques.
The United States will provide more training teams and controllers operating in African partner nations and aboard partner ships. Indeed, as quoted in a statement from the Navy, the current edition sees the participation of the frigate Luigi Rizzo (F-595) set sail on 23 February from La Spezia and operating in the Gulf of Guinea as part of the operations to prevent piracy, Mission Gabinia, alongside the allied and coastal nations.
Ship Rizzo is the fourth Italian unit to operate as an anti-prairie function in that region that is part of the enlarged Mediterranean, where in the next four months the unit with its crew will be strongly committed to the development of Capacity Building and Security Force Assistance activities to support local partners with the involvement of the main international and regional organizations.
La Obangame Express sees the participation of the signatory nations of Youande Code of Conduct and includes 20 African partners: Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Cape Verde, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bassau, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe.
Photo: US Navy