The Nigerian Navy has deployed 4 warships and 3,400 troops to tackle piracy, oil theft and vandalism of critical oil and gas installations at the nation’s maritime environment in the Niger Delta.
Rear Adm. James Oluwole, the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, announced the deployment, codenamed “Exercise Sharkbite’’ on Thursday in Onne, Rivers.
The warships deployed for the exercise were the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Okpabana, NNS Ologbo, NNS Burutu, NNS Sagbama, and a naval Augusta helicopter.
He said that the two-day exercise would also serve as avenue to check combat readiness of troops to tackle Niger Delta militant attacks on oil and gas installations which plunged the nation into recession.
“The exercise is an annual event for the employment of naval resources in training for maritime operations, either exploring the effects of warfare or testing strategies without actual combat.
“The exercise will enhance the capacity of the command in the fight against piracy, sea robbery, hijacking, illegal bunkering and crude oil theft, among other maritime crimes.
“This exercise was informed by worsening vandalism of critical oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta by militants which has plunged the nation into recession.