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US donates boats to Ghana's naval special forces

The Ghanaian SBS's two new Defenders. (Ghana Navy)

The US government has donated two 38 ft Defender-class boats to Ghana's Special Boat Squadron (SBS), the Ghana Navy announced on 19 July.

It said a ceremony was held on 14 July at Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) in Nutekpor to commission the boats that were delivered with associated equipment, as well as a new pontoon pier at the facility.

“The boats will enable the SBS to respond swiftly to maritime challenges and carry out critical operations with enhanced efficiency in the Gulf of Guinea,” said Chief of the Defence Staff Vice Admiral Seth Amoama.

The Ghana Navy also said a newly assembled prefabricated mobile camp that was donated by the Danish government was commissioned, adding that it will “serve as a vital operational base, providing the SBS with the necessary infrastructure and facilities to effectively plan and execute missions [and] as a hub for training, co-ordination, and joint operations”.

This is part of a five-year trilateral agreement signed with US Africa Command (USAFRICOM) and Denmark's Frogman Corps to develop the SBS into an elite, tier-one special operations force by 2026, according to the navy.

The US embassy in Accra released a statement saying the United States is providing USD6.4 million to equip the SBS so it can expand its offshore capabilities and provide NAVTRAC with training and infrastructure projects. It said the mobile training camp it funded would enable the SBS to train in diverse maritime environments.

It added that the US Naval Construction Battalions (Seabees) are helping with naval infrastructure projects and providing technical support to the Ghana Navy, while a combat diver team from US Special Operations Forces Africa will visit later in July to train alongside the SBS.

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