The defence of the maritime domain of Nigeria is synonymous to the survival and protection of key infrastructure and platforms across the nation. However, the actualization and sustenance of this task is highly depended on the ability of the Nigerian Navy (NN) to effectively secure its habour, exercise the men and platforms among others.  Consequently, as part of the Nigerian Navy Schedule of Events 2021 and in line with the Chief of the Naval Staff Strategic Directive 2021 – 5, the Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy activated OPERATION  AWKWARD 2021 code named “EXERCISE SECURE RESPONSE”  The purpose of the Exercise among others was to reinforce the prevailing security arrangement of the ships, units and bases in the Eastern Naval Command in order to build capacity to effectively prevent and repel any form of attacks by economic saboteurs.  Additionally, the Exercise was designed to enable the Command assess units preplanned responses and states of readiness.  The scenarios were set against the prevailing threats within the Eastern Naval Command Area of Responsibility to enhance the capacity/preparedness of  own personnel to curb the activities of criminal elements and other undesirable miscreants that threaten the safety and security of lives and property in Nigeria.

Objectives of the Exercise

The objectives of EXERCISE SECURE RESPONSE were to:

  1. Assess the capacity and operational readiness of Eastern Naval Command ships in harbour defence.
  2. Assess the capacity and readiness of Eastern Naval Command bases and units in the conduct of base security.
  3. Practice the participating units in the use of Maritime Domain Awareness assets in surveillance, threat assessment and operational engagement.
  4. Identify if any possible shortcomings in the capacity, training and doctrinal practices in NN harbor defence/base security procedures.


All ships, operations bases and units, including the Maritime Domain Awareness Centres in the Eastern Naval Command participated in the Exercise.


Ships were exercised on identifying the presence of frog men with the intent to lay limpet mines. Similarly, the bases were availed with the necessary report of suspected coordinated attacks by miscreants through the water front and land with the intent to carry out nefarious acts. Also carried out during the Exercise were the  simulations to test ships, units and bases on medical evacuation skills as well as Civil Military Relations engagement during civil unrest or protest. All these evolutions were geared towards enhancing personnel efficiency in line with the Chief of the Naval Staff vision to enhance the Navy as a well – motivated and ready naval force in the discharge of her Constitutional mandate and other assigned tasks in fulfillment of national security objectives.








The Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sanusi Ibrahim during the closing session remarked that the outcome of OPERATION AWKWARD 2021 was successful. Admiral Ibrahim noted that his assessment of the Exercise was based on the overall performance of participating ships and units. He was particularly impressed with the level of coordination and synergy by units in the Command during the conduct of the Exercise. He therefore implored officers, ratings and civilian staff of the Command to sustain the zeal exhibited during the conduct of the Exercise.




Commander TO Otuji,

Command Information Officer.

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