The 11th iteration of the multinational maritime exercise, Obangame Express 2022 (OE22), has successfully concluded in Senegal, Western Africa.

The completion was marked by a closing ceremony held in Dakar, Senegal.

Sponsored by US African Command (AFRICOM), the OE22 is a part of US Naval Forces Europe-Africa, US Sixth Fleet’s (NAVAF-SIXTHFLT) and AFRICOM’s comprehensive strategy to address maritime security concerns.

The week-long exercise is designed to enhance regional cooperation, information-sharing practices, maritime domain awareness (MDA) and tactical interdiction expertise.

In addition, the exercise improves the collaborative strength of the participating nations to address various sea-based illicit activities.

OE22 included in-port and at-sea training, which tested the abilities of participating maritime operation centres and ships in carrying out interdiction operations.

Besides, the exercise offered an opportunity for the forces to train and practise different military operations, such as search and rescue, boarding techniques, radio communication, and other missions.

US Africa Command deputy commander lieutenant general Kirk Smith said: “Exercise scenarios this year were designed to be as relevant as they were challenging, incorporating energy security, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and cross-boundary maritime domain awareness.

“These were meant to be responsive to the everyday, real-world issues our maritime teams face here in West Africa, and to be tailored to regional concerns and interests – striking the right balance between security and law enforcement.”

OE22 was conducted throughout the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea, West Africa, Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECWAS).

Participating nations include the US, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Brazil.