29 Mar 2011 - Story by John Ekongo
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WALVIS BAY â€" The Namibian navy has rewarded two officers, Lieutenant Commanders Gabriel Iiyambo and Fanuel Iyambo, with the highest accord a naval officer can get - that of commanding a vessel.
Gabriel Iiyambo takes over stewardship of Namibian patrol vessel (NPV) Brendan Simbwaye from founding commander Sacheus !Gonteb, who will now be posted to Naval headquarters as Chief of Staff, while Fanuel Iyambo takes over command of Namibian patrol vessel (NPV) Oryx from commanding officer Zeka Shikongo who would also be posted to Naval headquarters.
The new officers are among the first batch of naval officers trained at the Naval academy in Brazil.
NPV Brendan Simbwaye is the latest acquisition in the fleet, having being acquired in 2008, while NPV Oryx was the first Namibian patrol vessel to be commissioned. NPV Oryx was put into service in 2002.
Both vessels have been on tour of duty in various missions, with the NPV Oryx seeing the most sea duty, including the pursuit of the vessel Umfolozi, which escaped in the dead of night from the port of Walvis Bay in 2006.
NPV Brendan Simbwaye was recently involved in a successful joint exercise operation code-named Exercise Golfino, a combination of Southern African navies training exercise held at Walvis Bay in 2009.
The new commanding officers indicated that they would continue where their predecessors left off and assured that personnel would always be operationally ready to serve the country and ensure that Namibian oceans are protected from external threats.