Ghana Navy (GN) has tested to enhance the capabilities and operational readiness of its Counter Terrorism and Anti-Piracy unit – the Special Boat Squadron (SBS), in a Maritime Interdiction and Counter-Terrorism field training exercise codenamed EX SEA HAWK, as part of measures to ensure the security of Ghana’s maritime space.
Three series of tests, which were enacted in scenarios, also entailed staff planning for Tactical Mission with Strategic Effects, with the third scenario played at the Junction Mall, Nungua, in the Greater Accra Region, on Sunday 21 August, 2022.
EX SEA HAWK had scenario 1 taking off on 26 and 27 July, 2022, with intelligence and mission planning whereby operatives of the SBS located a 20-footer container stacked with arms and ammunitions onboard a shipping vessel, and arrested the crew of the vessel.
Subsequenthy, scenario two which took place on 29 July, 2022, had operatives of the Tema-based SBS intercept a feeder vessel, which was alleged to receive the seized cache of arms and ammunitions on the vessel in scenario 1, and transship to the Tema Port, following which another team of naval troops were inserted into the feeder vessel, via a Ghana Air Force MI17 helicopter and escorted it to harbour.
Scenario 3 was a follow-up from scenarios 1 and 2 in which intelligence got wind of leaders of the terrorist group behind the arms and ammunition smuggling, piracy and terrorism within the Gulf of Guinea, meeting at the Junction Mall on a set day, to plan to attack the Tema Naval Base, to retrieve the impounded cache, and also conduct a terrorist attack.
Speaking to the press after the exercise at the Junction Mall, Ghana’s Minister for Defence and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla – Mr Dominic Bingab Aduna Nitiwul, used the occasion to urge the general populace to be part of the fight against terror, violent extremism and piracy, by passing on information to security personnel, should they notice strange occurrences in their surroundings.
Present to witness the exercise included the Chief of the Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) – Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, the Chief of the Naval Staff – Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, General Officer Commanding, Southern Command – Brigadier General Michael Ayisi Amoah and the Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command – Commodore Emmanuel Ayesu Kwafo.
Supporting GAF Units of the Junction Mall exercise were the Ghana Air Force, Eastern Naval Command, 153 Armoured Regiment, Ghana Military Police, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team and the Ghana Navy Aviation Cell.