Accra, Ghana – The U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Virginia E. Palmer joined the Chief of Defense Staff and senior officers from the Ghana Navy, the Ghana Armed Forces, and Ministry of Defense last week to visit the Ghana Navy Training Command (NAVTRAC) in Volta Region and commission multiple projects to support maritime security. Six U.S.-funded projects at NAVTRAC and the surrounding area totaling more than $6 million will support Ghana’s maritime security capabilities. These capabilities are especially important for protecting commercial activities, including shipping and fishing, in the Gulf of Guinea.
“Our $48 million in security assistance to the Ghana Armed Forces this year includes substantial support for the Ghana Navy. Piracy and illegal fishing in the Gulf of Guinea pose a persistent threat to Ghana’s security and economic development. Better protected shipping means more reliable supply chains for the region and greater shared prosperity,” said Ambassador Palmer during the visit.
The $6.4 million in U.S. funding is equipping the Ghana Navy Special Boat Squadron (SBS) to expand its offshore capabilities, while providing training and naval infrastructure projects at NAVTRAC, including:
- Two 38-foot DEFENDER Class Safe Boats for the SBS along with a U.S. Marine Forces Africa Equipping Kit for the boats
- Replacement of the NAVTRAC pontoon pier
- Construction of a mobile training camp to allow SBS to train in diverse maritime environments
- A persistent presence Engineering “Seabees” Detachment from U.S. Naval Forces Africa to complete naval infrastructure construction projects and provide technical support for Ghana Navy counterparts
- Joint training, including a team of U.S. Special Operations Forces Africa Combat Divers who will visit NAVTRAC next week to train alongside SBS
- And finally, a joint project to build new classroom space at the Nutekpor Basic School located near NAVTRAC
The United States and Ghana continue to work closely to address regional security concerns, train together, and share best practices. This included supporting Ghana as host for FLINTLOCK 23 – U.S. AFRICOM’s large-scale, multinational military exercise, which had a historic first Maritime Special Operations Task Unit at NAVTRAC and the African Lion and Obangame Express exercises.