By Onungwe Obe
The Central Naval Command based in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, has begun the retraining of its men in marksmanship and weapons’ handling to reduce collateral damage in their engagement with civil duties.
The exercise, which was held at Elele 5 Battalion barracks of the Nigerian Army, is in small arms firing and range classification.
The Field Officer Commanding (FOC) of the Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Suleiman Garba, who led officers and ratings to the training exercise, said continuous qualitative training of its manpower would effectively safeguard the country’s territory integrity and resources.
Garba, who was represented by the Chief Staff Officer, Rear Admiral S.O. Agada, said the exercise involved the firing of Tavour rifle, AK47 rifle, pistol and GPMG at different distances.
According to him, “Considering the current national security situation and the multi-theatre operating involvement of the Nigerian navy, it became imperative to continue to re-classify our weapons and refresh ourselves with the weapons.
“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.
“Training and team work are an important part of the Chief of the Naval Staff effort towards repositioning the Nigerian navy.
“Additionally, the current security situation in the country also lays 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 state of insecurity across the country.
“To the participants, I employ you to show commitment and of common dedication by dividing the professionalism in your conduct during this all important exercise.”
The special guest of honour at the event, Air Officer Commanding of the Mobility Command, Yenagoa, Air Vice-Marshall A.G. Bello, commended the Central Naval Command for hosting the small arms firing exercise as part of CNC’s effort to reposition the Nigerian navy through provision of adequate training in small arms handling.