Five years is not a distance to notice changes in terms of development but in the Namibian Navy perspective, the wind of growth and expansion is blowing at a visible speed. The 5th Navy day celebrated at naval base, Walvis Bay on 10 October 2009 surfaced enormous success achieved by Namibia’s seamen.
The Navy has not given the nation a reason to mistrust its integrity and credibility and as a result it would gain ongoing positive and valued support.
The improvement on infrastructure, talking of ongoing naval base construction, acquisition of Patrol Vessel Brendan Simbwaye, and hundreds if not thousands navy personnel studying abroad indicate that the navy enters a new page as far as maritime warfare is concerned.
The cold, thunderstones and shower rain did not dater the event which was meant only for navy members to go on. A joint Line and Marine Corps of four companies and a brass band formed up at naval base parade ground to listen to Captain Navy Sinsy Ndeshiningilwa Nghipandua, Chief of Naval Operations as he outlined successes and barriers experienced in course of the past five years.
Capt Navy Nghipandua said, “Throughout the previous five years we put ourselves to task oversee the project related efforts towards construction of several naval facilities such as offices, lodgings, stores and jetties, the dredging of naval harbor, acquisition of naval assets, further training of naval personnel and the creation of the marine battalion.
He further elaborated that all those efforts where executed ingeniously with limited resources and time constraints.
Chief of Naval Operations continued to say men and women in white or blue have been actively carrying out maritime patrol and onshore support duties to civil and other law enforcement agencies as envisaged by the Constitution. He also mentioned that the navy like other Namibian Defence Force (NDF) Arms of Services pledged support to Southern Africa Development Community Standby Force (SADCSF) and participated in Excersice-Golphino.
He said starting from a scratch is not easy as it may look. “Building and administering a new Force is not easy as running and old and experience one, adding that “it requires both local and external expertise.”
He referred this to the good cooperation and mutual standing between the Namibian and Brazilian Government, as he went on to say, the Brazilian experts has been consistently offering advice on part of naval operation and the presence of Capt Navy Jose Calixto Dos Santos Junior, Commander of the Brazilian Technical team at the event justify the Brazilian generosity and long term standing friendship.
As the case of discipline, Capt Navy Nghipandwa urged seamen to be obedient to lawful commands and refrain from whatever may tarnish the name of the navy.
Establishment and Commissioning.
The Namibian Navy emerged in 1994 and the first training of pioneers group composed of Ship Officer, Ship Captains, Command and Staff Officers started in 1995 in Brazil. In 1998 the Maritime wing was established in Windhoek and subsequently the Naval Base in Walvis Bay in 2000. In 2002 the first Patrol Vessel ORYX was obtain by means of donation and in 2004 another Patrol Vessel Dimo Hamaambo was acquired from Brazil, the same year the navy was commissioned into a full fledge.