By Philip Nwosu
Twenty-five Nigerian and Ghanaian naval personnel, who were unable to meet up with the training requirement of the Special Boat Service (SBS) (Navy SEAL) have been withdrawn and sent back to their various services.
The 25 personnel, it was learnt, were among the 44 officers and rating, earlier selected to participate in the 24 weeks intensive training of the Special Boat Service unit of the Nigerian Navy.
Nineteen other members of the trainees scaled through the training of the Special Boat Service (Navy SEAL) and were commended by the Flag Officer Commanding Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC), Rear Admiral Kamarudeen Lawal, who certified them and decorated them with the SBS badge.
He charged them to be prepared for deployment to tougher task of protecting the nation’s territorial integrity.
Lawal tasked the newly inducted SBS personnel not take for granted the confidence reposed in them, especially as “our national aspirations are being threatened by numerous security, economic and social challenges.
“If I may recall, 44 of you were selected to participate in this training and today, 19 of you have proved your mettle and demonstrated that you have the mental tenacity, physical toughness and the will consistent with Special Operation Forces around the world.”
Lawal reminded graduating personnel that every component of their training module was carefully drawn to build them into an efficient fighting force and to prepare them to face the serious job ahead in their various navies and nations at large.
He described their graduation as a result of hard work, commitment and dedication, adding that the reports available clearly point to the fact that they received one of the best training complemented by their strong desire to imbibe the same.
The FOC further encouraged them to sustain the attitude built in them during the training and take it into the field in order to ensure their navies fight effectively and to justify the investment made on them.
“Also, take advantage of all you have learnt here and bring it to bear when the need arises. The confidence reposed in you must not be taken for granted, especially at this time that our national aspirations are being threatened by numerous security, economic and social challenges,” he said.
Earlier, the SBS Commander, Commodore M. N. Madugu, said with the current situation in the country, a lot is expected of the SBS personnel. They are expected to make use of all the experiences and knowledge they have gathered at the training to be able to tackle some of the security challenges.
Among the 19 graduates are nine Ghanaian and 10 Nigerians.
Madugu said: “Ghana and Nigeria are two countries that have been operating closely. We have had various exercises and training with Ghanaian officers.
“In most of our training institutions, we have Ghanaian officers teaching, and we also have Nigerians who are teaching in Ghana.
“So, we have come a long way and I believe this is just a way to further strengthen our relationship.”
According to him, the overall objective of the BOC is to train officers and ratings of the Nigerian Navy and other allied nations to be able to operate in small organised units that are equipped with specialised skills required to operate in a multidimensional threat environment.