The French led exercise Grand African Nemo 2021 has kicked off in the Gulf of Guinea, with participation by 19 local and ten international nations.
The exercise began on 2 November and will conclude on 7 November, the French Ministry of Defence announced. The exercise is taking place from Senegal to Angola.
Gulf of Guinea and regional nations taking part in the exercise are Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea , Liberia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Foreign participation includes from the United Kingdom, Italy, Brazil, United States, Portugal, Denmark, Spain, Belgium and Morocco.
Two French units will participate in this large-scale exercise: the French ship Germinal, currently deployed in the area as part of Operation Corymbe, and a maritime surveillance Falcon 50 aircraft.
“Since 2018, Grand African Nemo has become the most important annual maritime security event in the Gulf of Guinea,” the French Ministry of Defence said. “This fourth edition, which gathers a significant number of military assets at sea, on the ground and in the air, aims to share know-how and improve the operational level of each other in the fight against illegal fishing, piracy, maritime pollution illegal trafficking and rescue at sea.”
Some 40 vessels and six aircraft will be mobilised to participate in the various exercises designed to improve maritime security in the region.
Since the Yaounde summit in 2013, the French Navy has organized regional maritime exercise African Nemo (Navy’s Exercise for Maritime Operations) three to four times a year and a major annual exercise Grand African Nemo.
These recurrent exercises alternate from one area of the Gulf of Guinea to another, but always with the same objective: to strengthen the ability of the navies of the Gulf of Guinea to cooperate and act together in the context of State action at sea, the French defence ministry said.