The Brazilian Navy Niteroi-class frigate Liberal is off the coast of West Africa, where it is holding exercises with regional navies, including Togo and Nigeria, under Guinex III.
On 7 September the frigate carried out at-sea manoeuvres with the Nigerian Navy’s tanks landing ship NNS Kada and patrol vessel NNS Kano, covering navigation, boarding and other activities, with the Liberal’s boarding team embarking on the NNS Kada, the Brazilian Navy said.
According to Rear Admiral Nelson de Oliveira Leite, current commander of the Brazilian Task Group for Guinex III, “carrying out these exercises promotes interoperability between the forces, being relevant to maintaining the operational capacity of the Brazilian Navy, in addition to strengthening bonds of trust with the countries of the Gulf of Guinea and contribute to maritime security in the region”.
Guinex III began on 6 August when the Liberal left Rio de Janeiro Naval Base, and will continue until 14 October.
Since arriving on the African coast, the Brazilian Frigate has already visited the ports of São Tomé (São Tomé and Príncipe), Kribi (Cameroon) and Lagos (Nigeria). Stops are also planned in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Dakar (Senegal) and Mindelo (Cape Verde).
On 8 September the Liberal exercised with the Togolese patrol vessel Oti and during the exercise, the Liberal received a visit from the Brazilian Ambassador to Togo, Nei Futuro Bitencourt, accompanied by the Chief of Staff of the Togolese Navy Captain Babate Atatoum Florent.
Visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) drills were carried out, with Togolese and Brazilian forces boarding each other’s vessels.
The Brazilian Navy said Guinex consolidates its presence in the Gulf of Guinea, “a strategic Brazilian environment, establishing cooperation channels with the Navies and Coast Guards of countries in the region and increasing the interoperability of Brazilian naval assets with local actors, with a focus on maritime security in the region.”
Through operations such as Guinex, the Brazilian Navy seeks to guarantee the security and protection of Brazil’s maritime borders, acting proactively to prevent and combat threats that could put activities related to the use of the sea at risk.