Today the EUCAP Nestor’s Headquarters in the Seychelles welcomed the Head of Mission Etienne de Poncins ahead of the closing ceremonies of the trainings that were conducted for the Maritime police patrol unit (MPPU), the Seychelles air force (SAF) and Seychelles coast guards (SCG).
“The ceremonies today are the successful results of a great cooperation between the MPPU, SAF and SCG on one side and EUCAP Nestor mission on the other” said Etienne de Poncins during the 2 closing ceremonies that was held at the Coast Guard Base, (for Coast Guard and Air Force) and at the Police HQ for the MPPU .
These Basic Trainings were the first of a group of trainings tailored for the specific tasks and responsibilities of these particular units. The objectives of these trainings were to provide these units with the required maritime knowledge and essential skills they need in order to perform their duties at sea and in the air.
During his visit in the Seychelles Mr. De Poncins also visited the country’s top officials and ministries such as the foreign affair ministry and the ministry of Internal Affairs and Transport.
The aim of those meetings was to further foster the partnership between the Seychelles authorities and EUCAP Nestor and also to introduce the new head of the Seychelles country team Mr. Bo Holtse.
Basic Training for Seychelles Coast Guard
The Basic Training Program is a newly developed 27-week foundational training program
for privates recruited to the Seychelles Coast Guard. 19 participants were selected to take part in the program and have successfully concluded the course;
This training program is the first of its kind for the Seychelles Coast Guard. It provides a comprehensive program covering the full range of Coast Guard functions and it could become a model for the other countries in the region;
EUCAP Nestor has worked closely with the Coast Guard in developing the program, its syllabus, and the individual modules. EUCAP Nestor provided also experts to support the Coast Guard trainers who delivered the training;
The program included modules such as Maritime Domain Awareness, Seychelles maritime regulations and legislation, seamanship and navigation, marine engineering, border and excise control, maritime safety, maritime security, crime investigation, environmental response, and fisheries enforcement.
Other Seychelles agencies involved in the maritime domain supported the program with training modules. They are: Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA), Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA), and Seychelles Fishing Administration (SFA). Other interlocutors participated to several exercises and courses that have been performed during the BT, they are: Fire and Rescue Service, Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of the Environment and Energy;
A second basic training for new recruited privates will start in the coming months and Eucap Nestor will continue assisting the SCG for this purpose.
Basic Training for Seychelles Air Force
The Seychelles Air Force Basic Unit Familiarization Training which was conducted by officers of the unit and the embedded Maritime Aerial Surveillance expert from EUCAP NESTOR, Mr Bjorn Erlandsson ended after four weeks of training, which included technical subjects and in flight demonstration on the use of mission equipment on the Dornier 228 surveillance aircraft.
“I have learnt a lot of things and feel all at the unit should be exposed to such knowledge and skills” said Airman Adrian Barbe, a student pilot.
Major Michael Pouponneau, the Commanding Officer of the Seychelles Air Force said that “As a result of this training, the six airmen are now in a better position to understand the organization they served and also enhance their knowledge on the mission of the Air Force. I would like to say thank you to EUCAP Nestor and all Officers of the Seychelles Air Force for realizing this milestone.
This training has covered following sessions: introduction to SAF, Operations, Administration, Maintenance, IT structure, Fire, Medical, Emergency procedures, Aircraft familiarization, Meteorology, Company manuals and In Flight training. The students have passed all exams and have also provided feedback for the course in order to improve next Basic training for SAF. There will be further assistance relating to training for the unit and other forms of essential support such as equipment.
Seamanship and legal training for Marine Police Patrol Unit
The Seamanship and legal training module developed by EUCAP Nestor for the newly created Marine Police Patrol Unit (MPPU) ended last week. These modules have last for 5 weeks in total and 9 police officers has attended.
“We are very grateful to EUCAP Nestor for providing this training,” said Police Commissioner Ernest Quatre. “Getting the Unit up and running is a major priority for us.”
The unit will have a positive impact on maritime crime, environmental offences and the safety and security of our boating community.”
This training included following sessions: navigation, boat handling, safety at sea, maintenance and legal training. The EUCAP Nestor expert from the Spanish Guardia Civil, José-Luis Manzanares Segura, has been sent specifically to the Seychelles to develop and deliver the training for the MPPU.
During the Legal Training, next to lectures done by the EUCAP Nestor experts Mr. José Luis Manzanares and Ms. Agatha Bouten, many representatives of Seychelles maritime institutes provided a lecture: NDEA, Prosecution, Licence Authority, Customs, Port Authority, Police Academy and Environment Authority.
The Legal training was finalised with a Court hearing visit. There will be further assistance relating to the Unit’s institutional set up and other forms of essential support such as equipment.
EUCAP Nestor is a civilian EU mission, under the Common Security and Defence Policy, which assists countries in the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean in strengthening their capacity to ensure maritime security and in particular to fight piracy