The Central Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy has begun the retraining of its men in marksmanship and weapons handling to reduce collateral damage in its engagement in civil security challenges.
The exercise, which took place on Tuesday, at Elele 5 Battalion barracks of the Nigerian Army, was in small arms firing exercise and range classification.
It was organised to improve personnel proficiency in weapons handling and professionalism.
The Field Officer Commanding (FOC) of the Central Naval Command, Rear-Adm. Suleiman Garba, who led officers and ratings to the exercise, stressed the need for continuous qualitative training of its manpower to effectively safe guard the country’s territory and resources.
He said that the Central Naval Command (CNC) 2021 Small Arms Firing Exercise and Range Classification was part of the Nigerian Navy’s schedule of events this year.
Garba, represented by the Chief Staff Officer, CNC, Rear Adm. S.O. Agada, said the exercise would involve the firing of Tavour riffle, AK 47 riffle, pistols and GPMG at different distances.
“Considering the current national security situation and the multi-theatre operating involvement of the Nigerian Navy, it becomes imperative to continue to re-classify our weapons and refresh ourselves with the weapons.
“It is indeed a show of solidarity and cooperation in an effort to do first aid capacity through training.
“The best form of welfare for troops is first rating training , it is the essence of providing critical skills to military personnel during this time,” he said.
Garba said training and team work were an important part of the Chief of the Naval Staff’s effort towards repositioning the Nigerian Navy.
Garba said: “Accordingly the Central Naval Command small arms firing exercise for the first quarter of 2021 affords the command the opportunity to drive that agenda by ensuring that our own personnel classify on various categories of weapons and work together in doing so.
“Additionally the current security situation in the country also lends credence to the need to continue to conduct focus training on Nigeria navy personnel in order to improve their weapon handling skills.
“This is because the service will be required to sustain its current internal security deployment in aid of civil authorities considering the current security,the state of insecurity across the nation.
“To the participants I implore you to show commitment and of common dedication by dividing the professionalism in your conduct during this all important exercise.
“The importance of this exercise must reflect the cultivation of those essential attributes you have put on.
“Its therefore my sincere hope that we continue to synergies in relevant areas for the progress of the armed forces of Nigeria and the security of our dear nation.”
In his remarks, Air Officer Commanding of the Mobility Command, Yenagoa, AVM A.G. Bello, commended the CNC for hosting exercise as part of its effort to reposition the Nigerian Navy through provision of adequate training in small arms handling.
He said that the exercise would go a long way in enhancing the capabilities of the CNC personnel, especially when deployed for patrols and other internal security operations in the course of their duties. (NAN)