By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Public Affairs
Exercise Obangame Express 2018, which is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command, is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices, and tactical interdiction expertise to enhance the collective capabilities of Gulf of Guinea and West African nations to counter sea-based illicit activity.
OE18, now in its eighth year, is one of three U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa-facilitated regional exercises. The exercise is part of a comprehensive strategy by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet and Africom to provide collaborative opportunities amongst African forces and international partners that addresses maritime security concerns.
“It must be recognized that, in many respects, African states have taken the lead in pushing the importance of maritime security toward the top of the international agenda, forcing us to consider the ramifications of action, or inaction, in the maritime domain. African leadership in this area reflects a profound change both in how the world understands and defines security,” said Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark Camerer, director of logistics for Africom. “The maritime domain serves as the crossroad of national, regional and global interests. Be it security, economic or environmental interests, the maritime domain connects us all,” he added.