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Ghana Navy commissions new vessels

The Marine Protector-class patrol vessel GNS Aflao during its commissioning at Naval Base, Sekondi. (Republic of Ghana Presidency)

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo commissioned four new naval vessels on 9 September, according to a statement released by the president's office.

The president did not identify the vessels, but his office released photographs showing two 27 m-long Marine Protector-class patrol vessels called GNS Half Assini (P 44) and GNS Aflao (P 45) and two 12 m Safe Boats 38 Full Cabins at Naval Base, Sekondi. The Marine Protectors were each armed with two pintle-mounted .50 Browning machine guns.

The US Embassy in Ghana reported that the US government supplied the two ex-US Coast Guard Marine Protectors to the Ghana Navy and that the US Navy had helped train their crews before they were commissioned.

The embassy did not mention the two Safe Boats, which the United States handed over to the Ghana Navy during a ceremony at the Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) in July. These were part of a USD6 million US support programme for the Ghana Navy's Special Boat Squadron.

In his statement on the commissioning of the new vessels, Akufo-Addo noted that the Ghana Navy had built its first indigenous landing craft, which is called Navdock 1. While this was not seen in the coverage of the commissioning ceremony, he said it is 11.5 m long and designed to carry 30 personnel and one tonne of cargo.

The president also commissioned an oil-spill response vessel called Esther Afua Ocloo into service with the Ghana Maritime Authority.

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