New York Times - Ships and Shipping

Monday, 10 September 2012

President Hails Namibian Navy

by Magreth Nunuhe
Sep 10, 2012 (New Era/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- 
President Hifikepunye Pohamba says the arrival of the new logistics support ship christened the 'Elephant' is a significant milestone in the development of the Namibian Navy and the Namibian Defence Force (NDF).

Speaking at an event organised by the navy last Friday at Walvis Bay, he underlined the importance of the acquisition of these strategic assets that will help government enhance its capacity.
The commissioning of the new naval base and the naval jetty is part of government's ongoing commitment to strengthen national institutions, not only to protect "our exclusive economic zone, but also to respond to unforeseen events that may occur in Namibia's territorial waters", he said.
"It represents a welcome boost to our capacity to ensure that our navy has the right equipment to effectively and efficiently carry out the duties and responsibilities entrusted to it," said the President during the official commissioning of the assets at the harbour town.
The new naval vessel now joins the NS Brendan Simbwaye and two harbour patrol boats, namely Mowe Bay and Terrace Bay that were recently acquired.
"Together, these ships and the men and women who sail in them constitute the frontline in the protection of our nation's maritime interests, which form part of our sovereignty and territorial integrity," said the Commander-in-Chief of the country's armed forces.
Pohamba said although the NDF's primary mission is to defend the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Namibia, threats to national security have become varied and complex, which is why addressing these threats requires cooperation among nations to jointly and collectively provide adequate responses for durable solutions.
"It is for this reason that Namibia cooperates with other member states in SADC (Southern African Development Community) to maintain peace and security in our region," he added.
The President further stressed the importance of encouraging the interest of young people in sailing and marine aviation by organising career fairs and ship visits for secondary school learners who could be potential future sailors. The NS (Namibian Ship) Elephant, which was built by the Wuhan Shipyard in China, starting in October 2002, arrived in Walvis Bay port on August 13 after a long journey from the Asian country.
The state-of-the-art naval ship is equipped with a 37 mm naval gun and two 14.5 mm twin-barrelled machine guns, and has a deadweight of 2 500 tonnes and can carry 6x12 foot containers of 24 tonnes, 6 armed personnel carriers of 12 tonnes each, and at least 150 crewmembers.
It also has a landing pad for a helicopter.
Vice-President and Board Member of the China Poly Group, Wang Xiao Chao, who attended the commissioning of the vessel with his delegation, said they were honoured to be trusted with the construction of the new navy vessel.
"We firmly believe (that the) Namibian Ship Elephant will significantly improve the Namibian Navy's capability of territorial water control and logistic support and will play an important role in defending Namibian territorial waters," he said.
Chao said the China Poly Group was looking forward to contribute to the modernisation of Namibian national defences and the comprehensive development of the country's economy.
The Namibian naval base was named after the late captain of the base, Phesus Nopoundjuu Sacarua, who died in 2002.
Sacarua was also its first Maritime Wing Commander. Construction of the naval base started in 2002 and was completed in 2004.

Copyright New Era. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media ( 
Source: BBC, UK.

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