A top United States military officer Chase D. Patrick has stressed that the problems of Africa can only be solved by homegrown solutions.
The Director of Maritime Headquarters at U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and Sixth Fleet made the remark at a press briefing of the Department of State’s Africa Regional Media Hub.
Rear Admiral Patrick discussed Exercise Obangame Express 2023, one of three African regional exercises facilitated by his formation and sponsored by U.S. Africa Command.
The General responded to a question on how Obangame enables collaborative solutions to the insurgency problems across the coastline of West Africa.
Patrick said U.S. Naval Forces remain committed to being a reliable and long-term partner in Atlantic Africa as security on the waters surrounding the continent was critical to maintaining a safe global environment.
The senior officer confirmed America was aware that the dynamic threat posed by violent extremist organizations do require creative and collaborative solutions.
Patrick commended African nations for taking the lead in pushing maritime security toward the top of their international agenda.
The U.S. Naval Forces, he continued, sees the development of maritime skills and enhanced relationships with African partners as a critical piece to enhancing maritime safety.
Obangame Express provides the opportunity to collaborate and work on combined capabilities to combat maritime challenges, the Rear Admiral explained.
“From boarding procedures to legal jurisdiction and prosecution, we’re working together to become a stronger force.
“We recognize that African problems can only be solved by African solutions, and that is why we’re here, to learn from each other and share ideas to enhance maritime security.”
Patrick added that building good relationships, training and operating together in the form of exercises ultimately builds trust, the foundation of any good relationship.
The General oversees all Africa partnership station exercises in West, North, and East Africa, which includes Obangame, Phoenix, and Cutlass Express