From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Nigerian Navy in its bid to improve naval personnel proficiency in small arms handling and marksmanship on Tuesday commenced its Small Arms and Firing Exercise for the first quarter of 2021.
Speaking at the event held at the 5th Battalion Barracks in Elele, River States, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Air Mobility Command, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Air Vice Marshal Aliyu Gaya Bello tasks naval personnel on the need to be more professional and improve their weapon handling especially with the challenging security situation the country.
Bello, who was the special guest of honour at the event held, said the exercise will serve as an avenue to imbibe professionalism.
“The activities of non state actors in recent time have assumed worrisome dimensions in the country. Cases of continued attacks on innocent citizens are of utmost national security concern and with attendant economic and security implications for the country.
“The Armed forces of Nigeria remains one of the most important institutions committed to stemming the tide of insecurity by nipping it in the bud.
“Kinetic operations form an important aspect of the efforts to restore security and order in Nigeria. Accordingly, the need for adequate training to be imbibed by naval personnel towards confronting these unwholesome acts need not be over emphasized.”
In his remark, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), the Central Naval Command (CNC), Real Admiral Saidu Garba, said training and team work are an important part of the Chief of Naval Staff’s effort towards repositioning the Nigeria Navy.
Represented by Chief of Staff Officer of the Central Naval Command, Real Admiral Solomon Agada, he said the small arms firing exercise for the first quarter 2021 will afford the command the opportunity to drive that agenda by ensuring that personnel are classified on various categories of weapons and work together in doing so.
“Additionally the current security situation in the country also laid 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,” he said.