From Tuesday 2nd to Sunday 7th November 2021, the major exercise Grand Afrcian NEMO 22021, organised by the French Navy, will gather the 19 nations bordering the Gulf of Guinea and 10 allied nations including France. The exercise will take place in a wide maritime area stretching from Senegal to Angola.
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.
Since the Yaounde summit in 2013, the French Navy has organised regional maritime exercises African NEMO (Navy’s Exercise for Maritime Operations) three to four times a year and a major annual exercise Grand African NEMO, which gathers a larger number of units and operational centres.
Since 2018, Grand African NEMO has become the most important annual maritime security event in the Gulf of Guinea. This 4th 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 units at sea, and six aircrafts will be mobilised to participate in the various exercises designed on the basis of the main security stakes faced by the nations in the region.
With its leading role in the partnership resulting from the 2013 Yaounde Protocol, France, through the steering of his ambitious exercise, is making a decisive contribution to improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea with its African partners.
The Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams joined NATO Allies and partners for the French-led exercise.
Likewise, the Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Trent arrived in the waters of the Gulf of Guinea on October 23, as she heads for security patrols and a mission to support allies in West Africa.
The River-class patrol ship will visit Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Gambia and Cape Verde, and will take part in French-led multinational training exercises that will bring together international partners in the region.
Covering 5,707 kilometres of West African coastline from Senegal to Angola, the Gulf of Guinea is a major maritime region. Located at the crossroads of major shipping routes, the region is home to important natural resources, including oil, fish and minerals that whet the strategic competitor’s appetites.
African NEMO exercises
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.