The U.S. Coast Guard and the Nigerian Navy held a ceremony Wednesday in North Charleston to officially sign the decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin over to the Nigerian Navy.
The Gallatin was offered to Nigeria April 24, 2013, through the Foreign Assistance Act (FSA), and was decommissioned from Coast Guard service March 31, 2014.
The FSA allows the transfer of excess defense articles as a grant to friendly foreign governments under the auspices of the State Department.
During the ceremony, Coast Guard Chief Acquisition Officer Rear Adm. Bruce Baffer and Nigerian Minister of State for Defence Musiliu Obanikoro signed transfer documents in front of U.S. and Nigerian spectators, marking the official handoff of the ship to Nigeria.
Baffer said the transfer was bittersweet but said he believes the ship, renamed NNS Okpabana, will provide valuable service to Nigeria.
Obanikoro said the ship will strengthen Nigeria’s capabilities to safeguard the country’s waters and offshore resources and thanked America for support provided to his nation.
Press Release, May 8, 2014; Image: USCG