March 28, 2021 (Google Translation) – Yesterday, March 27, 2021, ended off the Ivorian coast, OBANGAME EXPRESS 2021, multinational maritime exercise to guide US Navy.
From the African dialect “Fang”, OBANGAME, which literally means “union”, sees the involvement, in addition to US Navy Units, also of the Navies and Maritime Security Forces of almost all West African countries, as well as of Units and Canada. The exercise was created to improve cooperation between the participating nations in order to increase the safety of navigation and free trade in the area.
The multinational event proved to be a profitable opportunity for strengthening relations between the coastal navies and international players including the Navy.
The Navy, through the men and women of Nave RIZZO, has laid the foundations for the consolidation of relations between Italy and local governments. It is through this precious collaboration that we can aim for the stability of the region and therefore guarantee maritime security in an extremely important area for our country and for the international community. Suffice it to say that most of the products and raw materials relating to West Africa transit through the main sea lines of communication, where thousands of boats sail every day, including merchant ships and fishing boats.
Cooperation with stakeholders in the Gulf of Guinea began well before the Frigate Captain Dario CASTELLI, Commander of the Ship, left the moorings from the port of La Spezia. Video-conferences, joint training and operational planning have favored the success of the mission so far. In fact, it is not just about advanced cooperation with coastal marinas or training activities with the French, Spanish and US Navy, which are also conducted by Nave RIZZO on several occasions. The Navy has been called upon to provide support in one of the most important drug seizures in the history of the Gulf of Guinea. On 21 March, directly involved by the US Sixth Fleet, Nave RIZZO provided ISR-Intelligence support, surveillance and reconnaissance – and safety frame at the DIXMUDE amphibious helicopter carrier of the French Navy, during the inspection operations of a merchant vessel in transit in international waters. At the end of the checks on board the “NAJLAN” cargo ship, more than 6 tons of cocaine were found, with an estimated value of 1.3 billion dollars.
Nave RIZZO will be involved in the GABINIA Operation until next June, to protect national and international interests against the scourge of piracy and illicit trafficking.