Exercise Obangame: US Sixth Fleet commander visits Lagos

Obangame Express (OE23), the largest multinational maritime exercise in Western and Central Africa, kicked off its 12th year with 33 participating nations. The exercise, hosted in Lagos, Nigeria, on the 27th of January 2023, featured both in-port and at-sea training scenarios including maritime operations center familiarization and exchanges on medical care, search and rescue operations, and boarding techniques.

Vice Adm. Thomas Ishee, commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet, arrived in Lagos, Nigeria for the opening ceremony. His visits also included engagements at the Western Navy Command, Naval Airbase Ojo, and the Joint Maritime Security Training Center. The meetings focused on enhancing relationships with senior government and military leaders and underscored the longstanding importance of U.S.- African maritime cooperation on mutual security interests within the region.

During the OE23 opening ceremony held at the Naval Dockyard, Vice Adm. Ishee delivered remarks alongside U.S. Consul General Will Stevens and the Flag Officer Commanding of Nigeria’s Western Naval Command, Rear Adm. Yakubu Wambai.

“The global importance and vast scale of the waters surrounding Africa provides an opportunity to work with our African partners to solve transnational issues,” said Ishee. “The work accomplished during Obangame Express strengthens regional cooperation and trust, ensuring African nations can continue protecting their coastal resources and sovereign waters.”

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