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By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Public Affairs
The Famous-class medium endurance cutter USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913) arrived in Lagos, Nigeria for a scheduled port visit, Aug. 18, 2022.
While in Lagos, U.S. and Nigerian leaders will participate in engagements at the Western Navy Command and Naval Dockyard. Mohawk will also host ship tours and a dinner reception.
“Maritime security is critical to regional security and stability,” said Cmdr. Andrew Pate, commanding officer aboard USCGC Mohawk. “Mohawk’s visit is an opportunity to collaborate on our shared goals, and reiterate our commitment to improving maritime security, stability, and prosperity of our allies and partners.”
Nigeria maintains the largest navy in the Gulf of Guinea region and is critical to security and stability in Africa.
In March, Nigeria participated in exercise Obangame Express 2022, the largest annual maritime security exercise in Western Africa. These types of exercises strengthen partnerships and allow countries to work more closely on shared transnational maritime challenges. Additionally, Nigeria will host next year’s exercise Obangame Express 2023 in Lagos.
“Ships like the USCGC Mohawk are the backbone of America’s commitment to not just our own security, but to ensuring the world’s oceans remain free and open,” said U.S. Consul General Will Stevens. “The United States is eager to work with Nigeria in its efforts towards the security of its territorial waters and the larger Gulf of Guinea.”
Over the last decade, the United States has steadily increased maritime security cooperation with partners on Africa’s Atlantic coast to improve maritime domain awareness capability and ability to protect their sovereign waters.
Mohawk’s visit also builds off of last year’s ship visit by USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4). In August 2021, Hershel “Woody” Williams participated in a maritime interoperability planning event with leaders from the Nigerian Navy followed by a three-day at sea training exercise with Nigerian offshore patrol vessels, the Spanish Navy, and members of Ghana’s Special Boat Squadron (SBS).
During the visit, the crew played sports with members of the Nigerian Navy and volunteered to paint Lagos State Model Nursery and Primary School Achakpo Ajegunle, while U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guardsmen leaders met with the chief of operations for the Nigerian Navy Western Naval Command (WNC), Commodore Daupreye Franklin Matthew, to discuss their shared commitment to a peaceful, well-policed Gulf of Guinea.
The U.S. shares a common interest with African partner nations in ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation on the waters surrounding the continent, because these waters are critical for Africa’s prosperity and access to global markets.
Mohawk is forward-deployed to the U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF) area of operations, while employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet.
Mohawk is the 13th and last of the Famous-class cutters. It is named for the Algonquin tribe of Iroquoian Indians who lived in the Mohawk Valley of New York. Mohawk is the third cutter to bear the name. Mohawk’s parent command is U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area.
U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, oversees all Coast Guard operations east of the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf, spanning across five Coast Guard districts and 40 states.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.