http://allafrica.com/, The First Namibian warship arrived from Brazil Wednesday morning, marking the success of the fruitful naval cooperation between Namibia and Brazil.
Named in honour of late Lt Gen Jerobeam Dimo Hamaambo, the former Commander of the Peoples Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), and later the Namibian Defence Force, the ship will assist in meeting the needs of the Namibian Maritime Wing.
Speaking at the welcoming ceremony, Minister of Defence Errki Nghimtina said the signing of Namibia's naval agreement with Brazil took place on the 4th of March 1994 and later was renewed on the 3rd of December 2001.
The agreement stipulates, among others, that the Brazilian Navy would assist with the training and establishment of the Namibian Defence Force Maritime Wing.
The arrival of the warship is one of the issues covered in the agreement.
On the 25th June 2004, the vessel was recommissioned at the naval base of Aratu in Salvado Bahia.
“Today we mark the arrival of Lt Gen Jerobeam Dimo Hamaambo, the Namibian ship commanded by the Namibian ship captain. I should proudly say that our dividend on human resources development has paid off,” said Nghimtina.
Apart from the arrival of this ship, the Brazilian Naval College in Rio de Janeiro has trained over 180 Namibian cadets.
Grey in colour and standing next to another tireless Namibian heroine Anna Kakurukaze Mungunda, this iron maiden was built in Holland, launched in 1954 and commissioned in the Brazillian Navy in 1955.
Formerly known as the “Purus”, the ship has a deadweight of 1 025 tons with an overall length of 55 meters.
It is equipped with twin shaft diesel propulsion engines, three power generators, a three-inch gun and four 20mm machine guns.
Further, it is equipped with towing, fire fighting, and damage control equipment, with a crew of 64.
The ship carries a logo with a fish eagle representing 'natural leaders', diamonds indicating natural resources, the blue colour for the ocean, gold for the Namib desert, and most of all, the three stars representing the three ranks the late Hamaambo carried.
Nghimtina encouraged those who will be sailing this giant to regard it as an honour. He further called upon them to uphold the spirit of the great son of the Namibian soil, Hamaambo.
” I would not like to hear any uncalled for behaviour from you. Take care of this asset with utmost care and ask for advice or assistance from your fellows in case of difficulties because any failure will result in deaths,” he said. He added that the tasks of crewmembers require undivided attention because if any wrong move was made at sea in a critical moment, death may be the end result just for the simplest failure. Equally, he instructed the captain in charge of the warship Peter Vilho to ensure that the crew of the ship do not tarnish the image of the late Lt General Hamaambo. The Hamaambo will now join the Oryx patrol vessel from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and two patrol harbour boats from South Africa in fiercely defending Namibian waters. The ship already has accomplished countless missions of search and rescue, coastal patrolling, lighthouse replenishment and mining exercises.
It equally participated in exercises in international waters off the coast of Africa and South America, playing a significant role in the strengthening of ties with other navies.