Navy to unleash 7 ships, 37 patrol boats for operation ‘Octopusgrip’ in Delta

Posted by News Express | 27 October 2017 | 3,288 times

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•A Nigerian navy patrol boat


In what appears to be a move to heighten military presence in the Niger Delta, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command (CNC), Rear Admiral Bello Al-Hassan on Thursday announced that the command would commence riverine and sea exercises, code named ‘Octopusgrip’, in Bayelsa and Delta States.

On October 13, the Nigerian Army had launched its ongoing ‘Operation Crocodile Smile II’, scheduled to last for the next one month.

A similar operation in the South East christened ‘Operation Python Dance 2’ caused so much friction in the zone.

Al-Hassan said that seven ships and 37 riverine boats would be involved in the operation of the high sea exercise.

While addressing a news conference in Yenagoa, the FOC said that the exercise was expected to last for two days from October 30.

He explained that the command was tasked with the responsibility of the security of the waterways by providing adequate security within the command’s area of responsibility.

He said the command in January launched ‘Operation Rivers Sweep’.

“So far, the operation has recorded huge success in reducing crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other maritime crimes.

“Between May and September this year, the command seized and destroyed about 870,000 metric tonnes of illegally refined crude oil.

“Also, over 400 illegal refineries were destroyed, including 85 boats used by oil thieves,” Al-Hassan further said.

The FOC explained that the aim of the planned exercise was also to assess the operational readiness of CNC fleet and to test the practical skills of its personnel in tackling maritime threats.

He said the Navy was providing an environment that would enable sustenance of economic activities, including oil and gas production, safety of shipping and other activities at sea.

Source: News Express

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