The Ghana Navy has flexed its strength at sea with the conduction of a large-scale training exercise code-named “EXERCISE SEA LION” from 19 – 22 March 2024, showcasing their strength and readiness to defend the nation’s territorial waters.

The Ocean Navigation Exercise is aimed at testing the endurance and combat readiness of selected Ghana Navy Ships, enhance maritime security and interoperability, train personnel in fleet maneuvers and conduct a joint exercise between the three arms of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).

Speaking at a Flagging-Off Ceremony held at the Clinker Jetty of the Tema Main Harbour, Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Lieutenant General Thomas Oppong-Peprah applauded the Ghana Navy for the initiative and said, that the joint nature of the exercise would help build the interoperability for future operations and contemporary security threats such as piracy and terrorism in the West African sub-region. This, he said, requires a robust, comprehensive, adequately equipped and well trained personnel to deal with such issues.

The CDS symbolically fired a pistol to set sail the selected ships earmarked for the exercise. The ships included Ghana Navy Ship (GNS) Ankobrah commanded by Lt Cdr Mohammed, GNS Volta also commanded Lt Cdr Samuel Sabbah Sarbah and United State of America (USA) Navy ship Hershel Woody Williams.

One of the highlights of the exercise was the Ghana Navy’s journey to the equator at Longitude and Latitude Zero Degrees (0ᵒ), where they sailed to participate in the century-old tradition of crossing the equator. This milestone was celebrated with a ceremony known as “Crossing the Line ceremony”, where first time participants and new sailors were initiated into the ancient maritime tradition by King Neptune.

The Exercise Sea lion 2024 was climaxed with a remarkable culmination of major military amphibious exercises, which involved a joint simulation exercise by personnel drawn from the Army Special Operations Brigade, Ghana Navy Special Boat Squadron and Fighter Squadron of the Ghana Air Force.

The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu in his closing remarks, expressed his heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to all participants and crew for their unwavering dedication, professionalism and teamwork.

“Crossing the equator at the centre of the earth is not only a nautical feat but also a symbolic moment of unity, as we transcend boundaries and enter new horizons together. I commend your unwavering commitment to excellence and your relentless pursuit of success in fulfilling our mission.” He said.

Rear Admiral Yakubu indicated that, the tri-service joint amphibious operation which have been conducted several years, stands as a testament to the extraordinary capabilities of GAF. He added that, through meticulous planning, rigorous training and coordinated efforts, the Ghana Navy have triumphed over challenges and showcased the unparalleled strength and readiness of GAF.

The CNS thanked the Minister-designate for Tourism, Honourable Agyapa Mercer for his support and the Ghana Tourism Authority for their collaboration. He also commended the Captain and crew of USA Navy Ship Hershel Woody Williams for participating in the exercise.

Source: Ghana Navy