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10 février 2014 1 10 /02 /février /2014 19:45
Italian warship training Mozambican Navy


10 February 2014 by Dean Wingrin - defenceweb


The Italian Navy vessel Borsini is in Mozambican waters for the next two months as it trains the southern African nation’s small navy, following the signature of a maritime collaboration agreement between the two countries.


The 30th Naval Group of the Italian Navy, comprising the aircraft carrier Cavour (CVH550), frigate Bergamini (F590), patrol ship Borsini (P491) and supply ship Etna (A5326), left Italy on 13 November on a circumnavigation of the African continent. Commanded by Rear Admiral Paolo Treu, the Naval Group arrived in Maputo, Mozambique, on 27 January.


Titled "A Country on the Move", the Naval Group is a joint Italian Navy and industry campaign involving multiple objectives, such as training, maritime security operations, confidence building, naval diplomacy, humanitarian assistance and the promotion of Italian industry.


The technical agreement for collaboration with the Mozambique Navy was signed by the Italian Chief of Navy during his visit to Maputo between 28 and 30 January.


In terms of the agreement, the Italian and the Mozambican navies will carry out naval cooperation activities in Mozambican waters for two months. In particular, training will be organized at sea and on land with specific emphasis placed on anti-piracy and patrolling in Mozambican territorial waters. Other areas of cooperative training include protection of commercial shipping, the fight against trafficking and rescue at sea.


The Italian Navy has experience with anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean, being a participant in Operation Atalanta, the European Union’s counter-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia.


As a result of the cooperation agreement, the patrol ship Borsini detached from the Naval Group on 1 February and will remain in Mozambican waters for the next two months.


Speaking to defenceWeb, Treu said that the Borsini will be helping the Mozambican Navy to grow. “It’s a small navy, so we are trying to provide them (with) our experience in maritime security operations, in particularly in anti-piracy activities and protecting the ships from terrorist attacks,” he said.


In light of the recent natural gas deposits discovered in Mozambique, Treu noted that the country has to learn how to protect its resources.


“We are there just to help them grow as a navy, providing them with our experience,” he explained. “We will show them how to perform operations (like anti-piracy patrols). If there is a real event going on, of course we could be tasked to do a real operation to fight piracy in case of need,” he continued.


The South African Navy, supported by the South African Air Force, has maintained a permanent anti-piracy patrol in the Mozambique Channel since early 2011, under Operation Copper. The frigate SAS Spioenkop is currently on station.


Having departed Maputo on 31 January, the three remaining vessels of the Naval Group arrived in Cape Town on 5 February.


Following their departure from Cape Town on 11 February, the Naval Group will continue its circumnavigation of the African continent, visiting Luanda in Angola next.


Mozambique’s small navy has only a few serviceable vessels, including two Namacurra boats (donated by South Africa), eight patrol vessels (including RHIBs) and a Conejera class patrol craft (Pebane – donated by Spain). However, last year French firm Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie (CMN) was given a $200 million contract to build three Ocean Eagle 43 patrol vessels, three HSI 32 interceptors and 24 CMN 23.5 trawlers for the Mozambican navy. Deliveries are scheduled to take place by 2016.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:45
Multi-national Exercise Oxide aims to combat piracy through collaboration

28 August 2013 by Kim Helfrich – defenceWeb


The three combat arms of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) will all, to a greater or lesser extent, be part of an intensive five day multi-national exercise concentrating on counter-piracy operations starting on Monday.


The basic premise of Exercise Oxide is the promotion of co-operation and improved inter-operability between the French, Mozambican and South African navies with the emphasis on keeping pirates away from the Indian Ocean seaboard off East Africa.


The sea off the Mozambican capital of Maputo is the designated exercise area.


The SA Navy (SAN) is the lead nation in the exercise and will deploy a Valour Class frigate (SAS Islandwana), a Type 209 submarine (SAS Queen Modjadji), the offshore patrol vessel SAS Isaac Dyoba, and a platoon from its Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS).


Last weekend Islandwana underwent final work-up in False Bay in preparation for the exercise, after which she will take up station in the Mozambique Channel replacing the OPV SAS Galeshewe on the Operation Copper counter-piracy tasking.


FS Nivose photo Marine Nationale

FS Nivose photo Marine Nationale

French forces taking part include the FS Nivose, a light surveillance frigate, and French commando boarding teams.


The airborne component for Exercise Oxide will be in the form of a C-130 Hercules from 28 Squadron and a 35 Squadron C-47TP, also used regularly in Operation Copper as a maritime patrol asset.


During the exercise, search and rescue, basic and advanced interdiction and boarding operations, vertical replenishment as well as tactical exercises and gunnery practice disciplines will all be undertaken.


The search and rescue component will use a submarine in distress as its central point with ships from both participating navies conducting a co-ordinated search for the underwater craft. Once the submarine’s location has been established a Special Forces parachute action group will use the C-130 as an airborne platform to speedily access it.


All vessels deployed for Exercise Oxide will take an active part in the interdiction and boarding operations phase. This will include location of “contacts of interest” (ships and vessels suspected of piracy and/or smuggling) and challenging them. Both French commandos and SAN MRS will exercise procedures for boarding, interrogation and search of suspicious vessels.


Helicopters from French and South African vessels will launch to airlift and drop crew.


The exercise will also see conventional naval procedures such as gunnery, multi-ship manoeuvring at sea and various communication methods practised.


The SAN will host nine “sea riders”, officers from the Mozambican and Tanzanian navies, aboard participating vessels to facilitate training and exposure among Southern African Development Community (SADC) maritime forces.

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