From Molly Kilete, Abuja
A weeklong Joint Simulation Exercise organized by the Defence Headquarters(DHQ), to tackle Insecurity in the country has opened in Abuja.
The exercise which is taking place at the Nigerian Army Land Simulation Center, Giri, is aimed at enhancing jointness in military operations with other security agencies to overcome the contemporary security challenges bedeviling the country.
It is also aimed at taming activities of terrorists, bandits, Kidnappers and other criminal groups terrorizing the peace of the nation
Declaring the exercise open, the Chief of Defence Staff(CDS), Lieutenant General Lucky Irabor, while noting the numerous operations embarked by the armed forces of Nigeria as a result of the insecurity in the country, said the exercise was to enable the armed forces position itself to address future threats.
The CDS, said that as the body responsible for the protection of the nation’s territorial integrity, the Nigerian Armed Forces have no reason for excuses when called upon to carry out its assigned tasks and urged participants to take the exercise seriously.
He however pointed out that going forward, the Armed Forces would assist other security agencies in the area of training to enable the military focus on its primary duties.
He said with such trainings, the relevant security agencies would be able to tackle the security challenges in the country.
He said “Whereas currently the armed forces as you know is engaged in various theatres of operation in the country dealing with issues that are more internal in nature, which at some point have had to involve the resources and the capacity of the armed forces, thats why we are there.
Irabor said “But going forward, given the impact of the engagement that we have had, we are looking forward to assisting other agencies and increasing their capacity to respond to these issues so that going forward the armed forces of Nigeria would be able to focus on issues that are traditionally the responsibilities of the armed forces.
He said “But I know that that is the longer term goal that in the interim we shall continue and we escalate our personal engagements in order to sufficiently bring respite to the security environment.
Speaking further, the CDS, said “this exercise that we are having is focusing more on the area of responsibility of operation Whirl Punch and the light of the current review, the recent review that we had that involve that operation. And I’m glad that the General Officer Commanding who is the Force commander is here. I believe that going to the exercise proper along with his team, he is going to inject a lot of realism into this function exercise.
But let me use opportunity to say that. The armed forces has no alternative than having to operate together. And that’s it’s essential because the current challenges and the assessed future challenges are those that will involve the ski set of various components bringing it together to be able to make significant effect such that the effect based outcomes that we expect to have will be achieved.
“So this is the reason why I believe that gentlemen, this exercise affords us the opportunity to be able to look at those issues that may be peculiar to the various domains talking about land, maritime and air, but equally how what impact it has within the joint environment and what capacities, what competencies we need to build up to be able to close up the gaps that we have or rather we will be observing.
Continuing, Gen Irabor, said the “Recall that we were in Asaba, earlier in the year to look at the wide range of issues bordering the armed forces with Training operations being a key part of the discussions that we had.
“And it came out very clearly that we need to indeed escalate our joint training activities. And we took a decision on that and that biennial basis we Will be having joint training exercises That will enable us to be able to contend with the current Issues and also position ourselves To be able to address the future threats that the armed forces of nigeria might be tasked to address.
He said “Given the time available to us, we felt that the starting point would be to have a simulation exercise, and that’s why I’m glad that we’re here today and to also appreciate the chief of Army staff for availing this Center for us to have this exercise. Let me say that professionalism Is a process and every organization will have to reshape, review its structure, review is certain All in a bid to get better. for us in the armed forces Of course, a lot of mileage have been covered, but i like to also indicate that we still have so much more to cover. Why? Because we as a nation and of course the forces we operate within an environment that is withn out geographical space, But the contending issues are far beyond those within our space. They also involve those that are global in nature. Some are made, others, of course, are natural. But as members of the armed forces, it is necessary for us to be seized on these issues and have them properly contextualize and get ready to plan contingencies to be able to redress them so that at any point in time when the armed forces is called upon, there wouldn’t be any reason for any excuse for failures”.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief of Training and Operations at the Defence Headquarters, Major General Adeyemi Yekimi, while noting that the exercise was a follow-up to key decisions reached at defence retreat held in Asaba, said it was aimed further enhancing jointness in operations of the armed forces of Nigeria, working with other security agencies to overcome the contemporary security challenges facing the country.
Gen Yekini, while charging participants to be committed to come out with some of the lapses being experienced during joint operations, expressed the hope that the lessons learnt during the exercise would no doubt improve the conduct of future operation.