Commander Fernand Maxime Ahoyo—Benin Navy
The global economic crisis has affected many American institutions including its navy, and because of its world character, it strongly affected the Benin treasury. Because of our nation's dependency on maritime transport, its collapse could plunge Benin into a difficult economic situation, especially if the nation's naval forces were not equipped to fulfil their protective missions. The Benin government, cognizant of the issues, expressed its will by initiating vast littoral and maritime security initiatives, with the mission primarily entrusted to the Benin Navy.
The new challenges imposed on our navy forces the need for a structural reorganization, which results in:
- Staff training better adapted and directed toward the nature of the threat,
- Installation of littoral monitoring equipment,
- Control of the application of the international ship and port facility security code,
- Establishment of an interdepartmental technical committee for safety and maritime protection, chaired by the Chief of Staff of the naval forces,
- Maritime security training for fishermen,
- Reinforcement of fishery monitoring,
- Closer cooperation with neighboring states for information sharing, and
- Acquisition of modern equipment, primarily maritime patrol planes and coordination with the air force.
- Only a single protected maritime environment can ensure the viability and survival of nations and their industry. For this, Benin's naval forces, at the behest of the government, must cooperate with and depend on the expertise of friendly countries, including the United States.
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