Small Wars Journal

U.S., Partners Work to Strengthen Sea Policing as Piracy Off West Africa Surges

U.S., Partners Work to Strengthen Sea Policing as Piracy Off West Africa Surges by Scott Wyland - Stars & Stripes

A U.S.-led exercise aimed at boosting cooperation between West African nations in maritime policing comes at a time when seaborne piracy in some areas is increasing and the trans-Atlantic drug trade remains active.

Thirty-three countries are taking part in this year’s Obangame Express off the West African coast so they can better combat crimes like piracy, drug smuggling and human trafficking.

The navies practice together during simulations to spot, raid and search suspicious ships, as well as to detain suspects and properly handle evidence.

The nine-day exercise, which ends Friday, is one of three sea-policing drills hosted by U.S. Africa Command. The other two are Cutlass Express in East Africa and Phoenix Express in the Mediterranean.

Obangame was first launched in 2010 when piracy reached record levels off the coast of West Africa…

Read on.