Admiral James Foggo, the Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, and U.S. Naval Forces Africa, visited Praia, Cabo Verde on March 19-20, 2019. Admiral Foggo meet with National Defense Director Paulo Lopes and National Security Advisor Carlos Reis to discuss regional security cooperation and enhancing African maritime security.
Under Admiral Foggo’s command, the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) and U.S. 6th Fleet conduct underway operations with African Navies and Coast Guards to secure exclusive economic zones against illegal trafficking and resource exploitation. NAVAF leads three maritime exercises sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM): Cutlass Express on the south east coast of Africa, Obangame Express on the west coast, and Phoenix Express on the north coast. These regional operations and exercises strengthen maritime security and economic stability by building partner nation capability and capacity to disrupt illicit trafficking, counter piracy, and protect fisheries.
Admiral Foggo is traveling to the region to participate in Obangame Express 2019 (OE19). The purpose of this military exercise is to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, and information-sharing practices in order to enhance the collective capabilities of Gulf of Guinea and West African nations to deter piracy, illicit trafficking, and other maritime threats. The United States and Cabo Verde are two of 33 nations scheduled to participate in OE19, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Following his visit to Praia, Admiral Foggo will be traveling on to Lagos, Nigeria for meetings and to participate in the closing ceremony of the regional exercise.