• November 16th, 2018
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Namibian navy weathering the storm

Special Focus
Special Focus

WALVIS BAY - The Commander of the Namibian Navy, Rear Admiral Peter Vilho says the Namibian Navy has achieved great “scope”, but still lacks the necessary quantity and equality needed to improve on effectiveness, efficiency and flexibility. He says effectiveness and efficiency can only be achieved by acquiring more and better equipment and by achieving operational synergies with other maritime stakeholders. Vilho was addressing various dignitaries and members of the Namibian Navy during the navy’s 10th anniversary celebration on Friday in Walvis Bay. Outlining the achievements and challenges the navy faces, Vilho said the force owes its existence to the country’s constitution, the white paper on defence and the Defence Act and policy. “Our defence policy identifies the maintenance of the ability to defend and protect our country, the promotion of a safe and secure environment in Namibia and the promotion of regional and sub-regional peace and stability. We have so far achieved all these objectives,” Vilho explained. He however said that for a developing country like Namibia, the only way to achieve effectiveness and efficiency is to build relations for each strategic objective. “For the defence of our country we need to build relations with the army and air force. We want the air force to provide us with wings in the sky and the army with boots on the ground,” Vilho said. “Maritime defence is a joint responsibility involving the deployment of land, sea and air capabilities.” He pointed out that for a safe and secure environment, the navy needs to build relations with the Namibian police, the Directorate of Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, the Namibia Ports Authority, Customs and Excise, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Ministry of Mines and Energy as well as various other stakeholders. “Involving all these stakeholders can only be beneficial for the protection of our marine resources, while also providing the necessary security for the protection of the territorial water and sea lines of communication. Such collaboration can be further enhanced through the establishment of a joint officer protection command and a multi-taskforce that will utilize assets assigned from various maritime stakeholder to conduct civil maritime operations.” Vhilo also highlighted relationships among naval officers as another challenge, saying that their next challenge is to build on relationships among themselves. “We must set up a proper and functioning administrative system as we have to lead and motivate our subordinates so that each one of us take control of our careers,” he said. Congratulating the navy on its 10-year existence, the Minister of Defence Nahas Angula said the navy should always be responsive to the huge responsibility that rests on its shoulders. However he said it is important to remind Namibians of the potential defence challenges the navy and the Namibian Defence Force could in general be faced with, within the maritime domain. “Namibian maritime resources are huge and varied. They include the country’s marine diamonds, fish, oil and gas exploration as well as our long coastline. In other words, the navy must transform itself from a green navy into a fully-fledged blue navy,” the minister said. The Namibian navy was established after an agreement between Namibia and Brazil was signed in 1994. The fleet consists of the naval ships Elephant, Brendan Simbwaye, harbour patrol boats Terrace Bay and Mowe Bay, navy patrol vessel Oryx and several harbour and riverine boats. Its shore establishments includes the Naval Training School at Rooikop, Walvis Bay, Naval Calling Station, Lüderitz, the Naval Base, PN Sacharia as well as the old naval base
New Era Reporter
2014-10-13 07:09:14 4 years ago

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