Deputy Chief of Mission Maria Brewer and Maritime Affairs Officer LTCM Sean Hays attended the commissioning ceremony of NNS Okpabana and three other war ships, in Lagos on February 19, 2015. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was the Special Guest of Honor and leaders of defence forces and senior government officials attended.
The United States is pleased to see the expanding capabilities of the Nigerian Navy with the arrival of this second high endurance cutter, NNS Okpabana. Many of the region’s security challenges come from the sea, and this powerful new naval platform will significantly enhance Nigeria’s ability to control the maritime environment. The Okpabana—like the Thunder before her—strongly demonstrates in steel grey America’s commitment to enhancing Nigeria’s security.
From the transfer of major naval assets like this one, to training for Nigeria’s elite naval special operations units, to multi-national training exercises, the United States is fully engaged with our Nigerian Navy counterparts. We work closely with this country’s Navy and with all of Nigeria’s service arms, to counter threats to Nigerian and African security. We have a common interest in a peaceful, well policed Gulf of Guinea, and support from the United States significantly increases Nigeria’s ability to reach this shared goal.
Two of the other ships were built in China and the fourth ship was acquired through local sourcing in partnership with Uniglobe Industrial Services Limited.