Officers of the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service completed a five-week Joint Combined Exchange Training alongside a team of U.S. Army Special Forces on July 8 in Lagos, Nigeria.
“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,” said Ms. Merrica Heaton, acting U.S. consulate political and economic chief at the U.S. Embassy to Nigeria.
The exercise is part of a series of U.S. engagements with the Nigerian military that provide opportunities for Nigerian military and U.S. elite units to work together, learn from each other and strengthen relationships. Throughout the JCET the two forces trained together on a broad range of land-based skills and tactics, such as countering improvised explosive devices.
Heaton noted that the U.S. government works closely with all the services of the Nigerian military to provide technical assistance, equipment and professional exchange and training opportunities. The JCET is part of a close and continuous military partnership between the U.S. and Nigeria spanning decades to strengthen defense ties and promote regional security.
The training preludes significant partnership events later this year, including the delivery of A-29 Super Tucanos as part of the largest defense sale to an African country; and the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps planning programs in Nigeria beyond pre-COVID levels to build on a longstanding security partnership – particularly in the Gulf of Guinea.
Nigeria participates in multiple bilateral and multilateral military exercises with the U.S. including African Lion, Flintlock and Obangame Express. The U.S. and Nigeria cooperate on maritime security, military professionalization including human rights, counterterrorism efforts against Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa, defense trade, and strengthening governance.