On 4 and 5 December, EUCAP Nestor Head of Mission, Etienne de Poncins, visited EUCAP Nestor’s Country Office in the Seychelles. During his visit, he met several high officials to discuss the way ahead for the exemplary and successful cooperation between the Seychelles and the Mission. He also took part in the closing ceremony for the 2nd Basic Training Course for the Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) and officially handed over Maritime Safety equipment to the SCG as well as IT equipment to the Seychelles Air Force.
Closing ceremony for Basic Coast Guard Training Course
The second Basic Training Course for the SCG ended after 8 weeks on 5 December with a closing ceremony that was held at the Defense Academy at Ile Perseverance in the presence of the Commanding Officer of the Seychelles Coast Guard, Lt. Col. Dine and EUCAP Nestor Head of Mission.
“This is the second closing ceremony for a Basic Training Course for Seychelles Coast Guard in which I assist in the Seychelles.” said de Poncins during the closing ceremony. “I am very proud to see the progress made and the sustainable results achieved by our partners in such a short time. EUCAP Nestor is in the Seychelles only since two years. In that time, the Seychelles’ have become more and more a role model for Maritime Security Capacity Building for other countries in the region and Seychelles now regularly sends staff to neighboring countries to train and share their acquired knowledge”.
The Basic Training Program is a foundational training program for recruits to the SCG. 21 participants were selected to take part in the program and have successfully concluded the course. The objective of this program is to provide the participants with the required maritime knowledge and essential skills they need in order to perform their duties at sea.
This course provided a comprehensive program covering the full range of Coast Guard functions and it could become a role model for other countries in the region; EUCAP Nestor has worked closely with the SCG in developing the program, its syllabus, and the individual modules. The course was delivered jointly by EUCAP Nestor experts and SCG trainers. The program included modules such as Maritime Domain Awareness, Seychelles maritime regulations and legislation, seamanship and navigation, marine engineering, maritime safety, maritime security, crime scene investigation and evidence handling, environmental response, and fisheries enforcement.
“The Basic Training Course for SCG’s recruits has already become a classic and part of our Training System. This second edition has been shortened and tailored to the current exigencies of our Agency. We are grateful to EUCAP Nestor for the support given and we aim to continue our good cooperation.” said Lt.Col. Dine Commanding officer of SCG.
Other Seychelles agencies involved in the maritime domain such as Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA), Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA), the Police, the Attorney General Office and the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority supported the program with training modules. EUNAVFOR Atalanta and UNODC trainers were also involved in the training course.
Equipment for the Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) and the Seychelles Air Force (SAF)
On 5 December, following the closing ceremony for the Basic Training Course Head of Mission EUCAP Nestor handed over maritime safety equipment to the SCG comprising hull fenders, life jackets, and ballistic flotation life jackets. The latter combining the ballistic qualities of a Tactical Vest with the safety and buoyancy characteristics of a Flotation Vest. This equipment was donated to link training activities with operational requirements of the SCG and to equip the newly trained recruits with life-saving equipment for their new tasks.
The same day, de Poncins presented IT equipment, comprised of one scanner/printer, 10 laptops and docking stations to the Commanding Officer of Seychelles Air Force. This donation accompanies the ongoing Surveillance Operator Mission Training program that will last until April 2015.
Discussing Maritime Security Capacity Building with Seychelles and International Partners
During his visit to the Seychelles, De Poncins also met with several key interlocutors from the Seychelles’ authorities as well as international partners operating in the Seychelles. The Minister for Home Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan, the Chief of Seychelles’ Defense Forces Brigadier Payet, Attorney General Govinden, Chief Justice Karunakaran and the Police Commissioner Quatre were amongst the interlocutors met.
The aim of these meetings was to further foster partnership between the Seychelles’ authorities and EUCAP Nestor and to express appreciation for the commitment and collaboration with regard to EUCAP Nestor’s initiatives to strengthen the maritime security capability of the countries in the region.
De Poncins also met with the Acting Head of the EU Delegation to Seychelles, Mauritius and Comoros, Mr Aldo Dell’Ariccia, in order to discuss the cooperation between EU institutions in the field of the Maritime Security in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean.
EUCAP Nestor is a civilian EU mission under the Common Security and Defence Policy which assists host countries in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean region (Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Seychelles, Tanzania) in strengthening their capacity to ensure maritime security and in particular to fight piracy.