Recent moves by the Nigerian government that ended U.S. efforts to train Nigerian forces for battle with the Islamic group Boko Haram — even as it continues to kill and kidnap civilians — will not eaffect Marine Corps exercises there.

Marine officials elaborated saying that Marines are currently in country conducting multi-national training.

"Currently we have a theater security cooperation team training with the Nigerian Navy on small boat maintenance. Training began Dec. 1," said 1st Lt. Maida Kalic, a Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – - Crisis Response – Africa spokeswoman.

"Marines, sailors and Coast Guardsmen with SPMAGTF-CR-AF conduct theater security cooperation through military-to-military engagements to assist partner nations in addressing security challenges," Kalic said.

They have already done so several times this year including during Africa Partnership Station 14, a "maritime-security exercise with international partners along the west coast of Africa."

It remains unclear why Nigerian leadership terminated the anti-Boko Haram training, but it came closely on the heels of a U.S. refusal to sell Cobra helicopters to that country.

"We regret premature termination of this training, as it was to be the first in a larger planned project that would have trained additional units with the goal of helping the Nigerian Army build capacity to counter Boko Haram," State Department spokesman Rodney Ford said in an email to Military Times in early December.

Staff writers Jeff Schogol and Joe Gould contributed to this report.

In Other News
Load More