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Saturday, May 14, 2011

U.S. gives Nigeria refurbished warship

New York -  Nigeria on Friday receive a refurbished U.S. warship ‘CHASE’ from  the U.S. Guard base in San Diego, California, CHASE after being commissioned in 1968, participated in Operation Market Time during the Vietnam War.
“From December 1969 to May 1970, under Commander, Task Force 115, CGC CHASE participated in more than 12  gunfire support missions in the Vietnam War,” a history of CHASE posted on the USCGC website says.
In 1998, CHASE, while on a patrol in the Persian Gulf, diverted four vessels in violation of UN sanctions against Iraq, interdicted 1,527,740 gallons of fuel oil and conducted 86 gunnery exercises.

In 1999, CHASE seized seven metric tons of cocaine, then the second largest cocaine bust in Coast Guard history.
Also on the 1999 patrol, CHASE was also the first U.S. military ship to pull into Corinto, Nicaragua, in more than 30 years.
The vessel also participated in several missions for the U.S. to enforce maritime laws and treaties, fisheries conservation, marine pollution response, defence readiness, search and rescue.
The Deputy Defence Adviser at the Nigeria Embassy, Washington D.C., Navy Capt. Adefemi Kayode, said  that ship would sail to Nigeria in July and its Nigerian crew would undergo further training from May 16.
He said 21 Nigerian engineers were undergoing training on a similar sister ship.
Kayode defended the age of the cutter and its sea-worthiness, saying “it is all about the culture of maintenance; if you have a ship of 1960 that is well maintained, there is no problem.”
The defence adviser recalled that in 2003, the Nigerian Navy got four vessels from the U.S. Coast Guard which it used for patrol in the Niger Delta region.
It was learnt that though the ship received from the U.S. government is free, the Nigeria Navy would bear the cost of installing communication equipment in it and other refurbishment costs, but such costs were not disclosed.
The ship is designed as a “high endurance” cutter with a crossing range of 9,600 miles at 20 knots.
It has an 80-foot flight deck, is capable of handling navy helicopters and can undertake extended patrol missions.
Its capabilities are enhanced by advanced air search and surface search radars, including the AN/SPS-73 digital surface radar system that incorporates a state-of-the-art computerised collision avoidance system.
The 378-foot cutter CGC CHASE would be received by Prof. Ade Adefuye, the Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S., at a ceremony at Alameda Coast Guard Base, California, a media advisory note from the Nigerian Embassy in Washington D.C. said.
The officials of the Ministry of Defence and the Nigerian Navy are billed to attend the ceremony.
The CGC CHASE had been in the service of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCGC) since 1968 until its decommissioning on March 29, 2011.

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