By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Theron J. Godbold
The Ghanaian portion of Exercise Obangame Express 2018 (OE18) concluded today in Tema, Ghana, with a closing ceremony.
Participants from the Royal Canadian Navy, the German Navy, the U. S. Navy, the Ghana Navy and other partner and allied nations were in attendance. The guest of honor was Commodore Jo Kontoh, flag officer commanding, Eastern Naval Command.
“I have been a part of Obagame Express exercises since the inception in 2011, said Kontoh.“There has been a remarkable improvement over these past exercises in terms of the communications and we are grateful to our international partners for all of the assistance we have received.
Over the past 11 days, the Ghanaian portion of OE18 has been comprised of many different and technical aspects. Whether conducting an exercise at one of the maritime operations centers or conducting training with the Ghanaian Special Boat Service, this exercise has served to promote the interoperability between the many different countries along the Gulf of Guinea.
“Having experienced this very intense training cooperation with the Ghanaian navy proved to me how important our engagement is as a part of exercise Obangame Express 2018,” said German Navy Lt. Alex Bohm, the officer in charge of the German special boat team. “The Ghanaian sailors and Naval Special Forces were very keen to show their professional skills and made all necessary efforts to succeed in the mission of being responsible stakeholders in the Gulf of Guinea region, across language barriers, borders, and despite eventual equipment issues.”
Exercise Obangame Express 2018, which is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness (MDA), information-sharing practices, and tactical interdiction expertise to enhance the collective capabilities of Gulf of Guinea and West African nations to counter sea-based illicit activity.