Over 200 officers of Nigerian Navy Training Command (NAVTRAC) on Tuesday commenced a two-day Small Arms Firing Exercise (SAFEX) to improve their weapons handling skills and ensure proficiency.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the exercise was held at the 192 Battalion, Army Barracks, Owode, Ogun State.
Addressing the officers, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) of NAVTRAC, Rear Adm. Stanford Enoch, said that no well-meaning organisation could attain its goals without qualitative training of its personnel.
He said that targeted and focused training on weapons handling would minimise collateral damages and unintended outcomes, especially during operational engagements taking place in populated areas.
“It is a fact that no well-meaning organisation or institution like the Armed Forces can attain its goals without qualitative training of its personnel.
“Considering the current national security scenario and the multi-theatre operational involvement of the Nigerian Navy, there is need to continue to re-calibrate.
“And training on the precise and effective use of weapons and other small arms becomes imperative, especially considering that the operational engagements may sometimes inadvertently take place in populated areas.
“Targeted and focused training on weapons handling would minimize collateral damages and unintended outcomes. “Accordingly, the exercise would consolidate the proficiency of NN personnel on weapons handling and marksmanship skills,” he said.
The FOC said that the Naval Training Command’s current operational requirements and contingencies to meet future needs would continue to drive its focus, including small arms and other trainings.
According to him, the Command’s slogan and goal will continue to be “Training for Effect”.
“During the two days exercise, we shall ascertain the operational state of our weapons and categorise and re-classify them. The proficiency of personnel in weapons handling would be improved.
“Also, the precision and marksmanship skills of personnel would also be tested to identify those with special skills for further improvement,” he said.
He said that the exercise was imperative as the Navy engaged in stabilisation operations and a broad range of other multifaceted engagements across the six geo-political zones and the maritime frontiers.
The FOC also implored senior officers not to rest on their oars at giving the highest qualitative training to the personnel under them.
“This is the only way personnel can be prepared enough to meet the challenges of the emerging trends in their chosen career.
“I also advice all participants to exhibit high standard of discipline, good sportsmanship and seriousness during the exercise,” he said.
Enoch thanked stakeholders in the maritime environment and the 81 Division of the Nigeria Army for their unflinching support.
NAN reports the rain did not deter the officers from participating in the exercise which saw senior officers firing at different range.
The senior officers included Enoch, Commodore Adesola Adesope, Command Assure Sea Training Officer of NAVTRAC and Commodore Emmanuel Nmoyem, Commandant, QUORRA NIGERIA NAVY SHIP.
Others were Captain Mudiaga Ejumabone, NNS QUORRA Training Captain and Navy Warrant Officer Adekunle Kassim, the Chief Boasting Mates.
Edited by Wale Ojetimi