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US military trains Nigerian navy personnel on counter-insurgency techniques

Officers of the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service have concluded a five-week Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) alongside a team of the US Army Special Forces to strengthen their skills in the fight against insurgency in the country.

The completion of the training exercise was announced by the US consulate via a statement made available to journalists on Friday.

 

Throughout the JCET, 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 (IEDs).

The exercise is part of a series of US engagements with the Nigerian military that provides opportunities for the Nigerian military and US elite units to work together, learn from each other, and strengthen relationships.

At the JCET closing ceremony in Lagos, Merrica Heaton, acting US consulate political and economic chief, said the US government works closely with the Nigerian military’s services to provide technical assistance equipment and professional exchange and training opportunities.

She said JCET is part of a close and continuous military partnership between the US and Nigeria, spanning decades to strengthen defence 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 said.

“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.”

The US and Nigeria cooperate on maritime security, military professionalisation, human rights, counterterrorism efforts against Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa, defence trade, and strengthening governance.

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