The ship will return to Nigeria in December.
The Nigerian Navy ship, NNS Thunder, has left Calabar Port enroute Australia, to participate in the Royal Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review (IFR).
The Chief of Naval staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, told the 177-member crew, including 37 officers and 140 Ratings, to be of good behaviour in Australia.
Mr. Ezeoba, who was represented by Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu– the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command– said the crew would participate in the exercise slated for October 3 to October 11 in Sydney, Australia.
He said that the crew would spend about five months before returning to Nigeria, adding that the welfare of crew members was paramount to the Federal Government and the naval hierarchy.
“This is a diplomatic exercise. The benefit is quite enormous. This mission is not an accidental thing.
“A lot of things have been put in place right from the welfare of the crew, training and logistics, so that they will go there and represent this country well.
“There are things that we expect from our sailors. We expect them to respect the laws in the host country. We have participated in similar exercise in the past, so, it is not a new thing to us,’’ he said.
He said the Nigerian Navy participated in a similar exercise in 2005, when NNS Aradu visited the United Kingdom for the bicentenary (200 years) of the Battle of Trafalgar.
He also said that in 2007, the NNS Nwanba visited Brazil for a similar exercise.
The NNS Thunder will return to home port in December, after making outbound port calls at Luanda, Cape Town, Port Louis, Freemantle and Sydney.
On the in-bound leg, the naval ship will also visit Melbourne, Albany, Port Des Galet, Durban, Walvis Bay and Pointe Noire.
The Fleet Review will start on October 4. The formal review of the participating ships will take place in Sydney Harbour on October 5, 2013.
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