Lagos – The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Thunder on Wednesday arrived in Lagos after successfully participating in the Royal Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review in Sydney.
The wives of 17 of the 165 crew members of the ship, who were away for four months, gave birth while their husbands were away.
Receiving the crew, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Dele Ezeoba, said that the participation of the ship in the Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review from Oct. 4 to Oct. 13, was in partial fulfilment of the Navy’s diplomatic role, as enshrined in the constitution.
Ezeoba, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Rear Adm. Emmanuel Ogbor, said that a total of 37 ships from 17 countries participated in the event.
According to him, during the ship outbound journey to Australia, she made port calls at Luanda in Angola; Cape Town in South Africa; Port Louis in Mauritius, Fremantle and Jervis Bay.
He added that on her return trip, NNS Thunder made port calls at Albany in Australia; Port Louis in Mauritius; Durban in South Africa, Walvis Bay in Namibia and Port Noire in the Congo, before arriving in Lagos.
The naval chief said that the ship was outside the shores of the country for four months and 10 days, of which 1,834 hours were spent underway, covering 22,614 nautical miles.
Ezeoba said that the flag show visit undertaken by NNS Thunder was to enhance the skill and competence of her crew, while affording the Nigerian Navy the opportunity to assess the state of both the ship and the crew’s combat readiness.
The naval chief stated that the trip, which bore huge financial implications bordering mainly on logistics requirements and port charges, afforded the ship and her crew the opportunity of paying port calls.
On arrival, officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Nigerian Immigration Service and the Nigeria Customs Service, searched the ship and checked its crew, as part of the procedures in the service.
NAN reports that the last time a Nigerian Navy Ship participated in an International maritime exercise of this magnitude was in 2007, when NNS Aradu and NNS Nwamba participated in the Brazilian Navy Centenary celebrations. (NAN)