The Califonia National Guard (CNG), has promised to assist the Nigerian Army commence its aviation corps to curb terrorism and other security challenges.
It also promised to train army personnel on counter-measures against improvised explosive devices (IEDs), how to employ technical capabilities and equipment in countering improvised explosives and landmines and deployment and employment of techniques to counter IEDs in combat operations.
Adjutant -General of CNG, Major General David Baldwin, made this known when he visited the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, in Abuja. He declared: “We have enjoyed a cordial working relationship with the Nigerian Army since 2008. We are here to continue this relationship. We want to know the areas where you want us to work together and areas where you want the relationship to expand.
“There are priority areas I feel we have the capacity and experience to help the NA. One priority area is to help you develop the Nigerian Army Aviation programme. It is almost surprising that an army as large as Nigeria has no aviation arm.
“At the Califonia National Guard, we have almost 100 aircraft, an aviation brigade and two aviation battalions of military aircraft. So, we can help the Nigerian Army realise its dreams of establishing an aviation arm and it will help you in your insurgency fight.
“Another priority area is the area of training on counter-IEDs, how to employ technical capabilities and equipment in countering improvised explosives and landmines. The deployment and employment of techniques to counter IEDs in combat operations.
“We are also prepared to provide advanced training to personnel of the NA of night fighting techniques as well as provide necessary equipment used for night operations.”
He said the CNG was disposed to training Nigerian troops in cyber-defence operations and modern logistics capabilities: “The CNG has put in place a mobile infantry brigade combat team ready for deployment to assist friendly partners.”
He said an important aspect of its military training was the area of non-commissioned officers’ training aimed at developing soldiers in modern and different arts of combat.
COAS Yahaya responded: “We are looking forward to the relationship further expanding in areas of mutual benefit. These areas, which you highlighted, are the Nigerian Army Aviation, building capacity in tackling IED threats, which has affected our operations in the theatre.
“We are also looking forward to your support with the training in cyber-defence technology because this is an aspect that is giving us concern. The area of night training is very essential so that we can deal with the terrorists and the bandits who take advantage of the cover of darkness.
“The NCO development programme, which you mentioned is very interesting to me. Issues of training and welfare of the NCOs are a priority for us. So we are looking forward to your support in that area.”
Army deploys 62 on peacekeeping operations in Mali
The Nigerian Army has deployed 62 officers and soldiers to Mali on a peacekeeping mission. The soldiers have just completed an intensive training at the General Martin Luther Agwai Peacekeeping Centre, Jaji, Kaduna State.
They underwent a three-week special intensive training that qualified them to be deployed in the United Nations Multi-Dimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Deputy Chief of Training, Army Headquarters, Brigadier General Hassan Dada, said: “The troops are expected to depart Nigeria immediately after their induction.”
He warned that the Nigerian Army would not tolerate any act of cowardice or professional misconduct from them during the operation.
He charged the contingent to abide by the rules of engagement, exhibit braveness as professionals and respect the cultural sensitivity of the people of Mali. He reminded them of the United Nations zero-tolerance for drug trafficking and human rights abuse. He urged the soldiers to avoid indecent acts capable of tarnishing the image of the Nigerian Army and the country in general. Commandant of the centre, Major General Auwal Fagge, said: “I hope this will reflect positively on the conduct of the unit in the theatre of operation in Mali.”
Mali, a West African country, has been facing serious political, security, socio-economic, humanitarian and human rights challenges after a coalition of Tuareg and other terrorist groups attacked and captured some territories in the country in January 2012. The situation led to the deployment of African Union (AU) and French forces, which transformed into MINUSMA with a Security Council mandate, including protection of civilians.
Buhari urges military to be apolitical
President Muhammadu Buhari has lauded the Nigerian Armed Forces for maintaining peace, unity and stability in the country, urging them to remain apolitical in discharging their duties.
He spoke at the opening of the Conference of the Chief of Army Staff, adding: “Democracy cannot thrive where there is insecurity.”
Represented by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, the President reinstated his commitment to the welfare of the Nigerian Army.
Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (retd), represented by the Director, Army, Defence Ministry, Sunday Attah, said: “It is imperative to state that the activities of Boko Haram and Islamic State West African Province are being curtailed to the barest minimum.
“I am confident in the capability of our armed forces to decimate these terrorists and this must be achieved soonest. Let me also congratulate the Nigerian Army for the critical role it has played in ensuring the defence and security of our dear country, Nigeria.”
“This has been made possible by the visionary leadership and directionof the President especially in the area of addressing the security challenges in the country.”
Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Farouk Yahaya, said: “The successes achieved by the Nigerian Army could be attributed to constant trainings. It is in recognition of this essential determinant that the NA placed a high premium on the training of personnel.
“Within the year under review, NA has organized several training exercises and courses both within and outside the country for personnel.
“The NA has also collaborated with foreign countries to support its training effort. So far, a sizeable number of infantry and engineer personnel have been trained on counter-terrorism and counter-improvised explosive devices.
“Currently, we have NA personnel undergoing advanced infantry training being conducted by some of our foreign partners in-country. These trainings are aimed at building our capacity to tackle the evolving security challenges in the country.”
DHQ dedicates service chiefs, personnel to God
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), has held its annual interdenominational thanksgiving service to dedicate service chiefs, officers and soldiers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to God with pledges to always magnify God in everything.
The combined service, which had in attendance personnel of the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air Force, took place at the Defence Headquarters Chapel, Abuja.
Reverend Sub-Lieutenant Emmanuel Chilee, in his sermon, harped on the importance of military personnel and civilian staff re-dedicating their lives to God: “We appreciate God for all He has done for us as members of the Armed Forces, may all the glory and honour be unto Him.”
Apostle Matson Ekuniji said, “Thanksgiving is a way of expressing openness to the person who gives the gift of life and a way of acknowledging the grace of God in our lives.”
Special guest of honour, Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Elisha Ishaku Abbo, said: “My message to the Armed Forces of Nigeria is a message of thanks to them.
“We know what they go through every single day of their lives.
“These men in uniform are our brothers, sisters, uncles, our sons. We know what they go through, most especially this very difficult time of insurgency, banditry, kidnapping.
“They continue to sacrifice their lives for us. They abandoned their wives to sleep in the bush, so that we can sleep with our wives on our bed.
“They gave up their comfort, so that we can have comfort. They left their children so that we can play with our children.”
He equally expressed the gratitude of Nigerians to the armed forces for all their sacrifices.
He admonished the fallen heroes’ families to be strong and understand that “we shall meet at resurrection day. You are not alone in your grief; Nigerians are with you.”
Chairperson, Thanksgiving Committee, Squadron Leader Anthonia Egbujiobi, thanked Defence Headquarters principal officers for supporting the committee.
Soldiers foil IPOB/ESN attack on Imo communities
Soldiers of Sector 3 engaged in the Exercise Golden Dawn, have foiled an attempt by alleged members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN) to unleash mayhem on residents of Mgbidi and Awo Mmamma communities in Oru East Local Government, Imo State.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, claimed that the group targeted the people for refusing to observe the illegal sit-at-home order foisted on them on Monday, November 6, 2021.
He said the swift response of troops compelled the attackers, in two Sienna buses and a Toyota Hilux truck, to abandon their mission and withdraw in disarray.
In a separate development, troops uncovered four IEDs planted by IPOB/ESN to inflict harm on unsuspecting motorists and other road users on the Orlu-Owerri Road.
Nwachukwu said: “The troops, who were on a reinforcement mission to Mgbidi/Awo Mmama, detected the IEDs planted at about 15 metres apart on both sides of the road and safely defused them. No casualty was recorded.
“The troops also recovered four wraps of unexploded ordnances, one motorcycle battery, two vehicle alarm devices, one detonator, wires and batteries. The road has been safely cleared and motorists have resumed plying the road.
“We urge all law-abiding citizens to go about their normal businesses and disregard the illegal sit-at-home order. We also appeal to the good people of Mgbidi, Awo Mmama and Omuma communities to report any suspected movement of members of the irredentist group, who may be seeking a safe haven, to relevant security agencies.”