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US Army Special Forces train Nigerian Navy personnel

United States Army Special Forces have trained 25 officers of the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service during a five-week Joint Combined Exchange Training which was concluded on Thursday.

The American military trainers and the Nigerian Navy​special operations forces trained together on a broad range of land-based skills and tactics, such as countering improvised explosive devices.

According to a statement by the US Embassy in Nigeria, the exercise was part of a series of US engagements with the Nigerian military providing opportunities for the Nigerian military and US elite units to work together, learn from each other, and strengthen relationships.

Delivering remarks during the JCET closing ceremony in Lagos, Acting US Consulate Political and Economic Chief, Merrica Heaton, noted that the US government works closely with all the services of the Nigerian military to provide technical assistance, equipment, and professional exchange and training opportunities.

According to her, the JCET is part of a close and continuous military partnership between the United States and Nigeria spanning decades to strengthen defense ties and promote regional security.

“The United States Mission to Nigeria is a steadfast partner — helping combat maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea, counter violent extremists in the Northeast, and enforce the rule of law throughout the region,” Heaton was quoted as saying.

“The magnitude of this summer’s engagements demonstrates the strategic importance of the United States-Nigeria bilateral relationship: the U.S. is delivering A-29 Super Tucanos as part of the largest defence sale to an African country; the United States Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps are scheduled for extensive programs in Nigeria beyond pre-COVID levels. These engagements build on a longstanding security partnership, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea.

“Nigeria participates in multiple bilateral and multilateral military exercises with the United States, including African Lion, Flintlock, and Obangame Express.

The US and Nigeria cooperate on maritime security, military professionalization including human rights, counterterrorism efforts against Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa, defence trade, and strengthening governance,” the statement added.