The joint training program conducted by MNDF Special Force and Coast Guard with United States Navy Seal Team-3 has concluded yesterday.
The closing ceremony of the training program “Exercise Fusion Metal 12-1” was graced by the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Her Excellency Mrs. Patricia A. Butenis.
Speaking at the ceremony, the guest of honor Ambassador Butenis said it is a hope that this program would instill the required skills in the participants of both countries. She also highlighted that to obtain a solution for certain problems such as piracy, human trafficking and terrorism that the region is facing, we are required to act collaboratively with other neighboring countries. Moreover, she stressed that a similar program would be held in Maldives in near future and other than MNDF, Maldives Police Service, Maldives Customs Service, Immigration and Emigration officials would also participate in this program. She also said that more additional facilities would be provided by the United States for the next program.
The Minister of Defence and National Security Hon. Mohamed Nazim also participated in this ceremony. Addressing the gathering, he said that Maldives is a seafaring nation and Maldives National Defence Force is mandated with defending the sovereignty of the nation. He also said that it is our responsibility to protect the Nation against terrorism, piracy and other transnational crimes.
The Minister highlighted that piracy, illegal migration, terrorism, arms proliferation, human trafficking, money laundering and environmental crimes are carried out by anonymous loosely affiliated perpetrators. Pointing to these challenges he stressed that it demands our quick response and the changing scenario of maritime security in the Indian Ocean dictates that our Special Force, working closely with the Coast Guard will have to provide a secure environment for the Maldivian people. He further said that it is in the best interest of both the Maldives and the United States of America to maintain peace and security in the Indian Ocean region.
Speaking further he said that it is hoped that the knowledge and experience the participants have gained from the Vessel Boarding Search and Seizure (VBSS), Navigation, Flat Range Shooting and Close Quarter Battle portions of this exercise have prepared them to tactfully handle any scenarios which they may encounter. Moreover, he said that this exercise has prepared our Coast Guard and Special Force to be more effective as custodians of the sea within our territory, in addition to strengthening the ties of friendship between the two nations.
The exercise was conducted from 6th to 29th of this month at Girifushi Training Center and at sea off K.Girifushi island. 12 soldiers from MNDF Special Forces, 12 sailors of MNDF Coast Guard and 3 soldiers of US Seal Team-03 participated in this exercise. During this exercise, participants were trained on small boat handling, maritime interdiction, search and seizure, tactical combat casualty care, marksmanship, mission planning etc. Additionally, participants exercised on how to react to piracy, weapon smuggling, drug trafficking and human trafficking scenarios. This program is conducted under the “Counter terrorism capacity building program” of US and funded by the US Government.
Chief of Defence Force Major General Ahmed Shiyam, Vice Chief of Defence Force Brigadier General Ahmed Mohamed, Commandant of Marine Corps, Brigadier General Ahmed Nilam, Senior Officers of both countries, instructors and participants were in attendance at this ceremony.
This article was posted by Neptune Maritime Security via miadhu.com. MaritimeSecurity.Asia in cooperation with www.neptunemaritimesecurity.com