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Joint military force concludes arms proficiency exercise in Niger Delta

Joint military force concludes arms proficiency exercise in Niger Delta -

By Kenechukwu Obiajuru, Yenagoa

The joint military force deployed to protect oil installations in the Ni­ger Delta, at the weekend, concluded an arms handling training to enhance the pre­cision of troops in operations. The month-long shooting and marksmanship exercise came to a climax with an inter sec­tor skills-at-arms competition amongst the four sectors of the force based in the region.

Sector 3, of the Joint Task Force in Niger Delta chris­tened, Operation Delta Safe won the gold trophy, Sector 2 clinched silver trophy while Sector 1 went home with the bronze trophy.

Speaking at the event Gover­nor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa who was the special guest re­iterated that the performance of the military depended large­ly on their skill which is en­hanced by training.

Dickson who spoke though his deputy Rear Adm. John Jonah, (Rtd) appealed for the sustenance of the culture of periodic training of the armed forces to help them overcome the security challenges fac­ing the country. He noted that the Niger Delta envi­ronment, which consists of creeks, swamps, rivers with settlements along the Atlantic coastline, was a very difficult terrain for military operations.

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He, however, noted that the challenging terrain was a blessing in disguise as it pro­vided suitable training envi­ronment for military training.

The commander of the joint force, Rear Adm. Suleiman Apochi, in his opening re­marks, noted that the train­ing exercise was designed to enhance the combat readiness of the troops in view of the enormous risks they face. “The need for training cannot be over emphasised, more so due to the composition of the force with personnel across the ser­vices of the military.

“It is also to make the person­nel from different services work as a team. The training is to make the personnel more pro­ficient and increase their preci­sion to defend themselves when under attack and to defend the citizens and oil infrastructure.

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“The skills-at-arms contest was just an icing on the cake aimed at building team spirit and understanding amongst personnel from various ser­vices who are perhaps train­ing together after their de­ployments to the joint force,” Apochi stated.

Heads of the various mili­tary formations operating in Bayelsa state graced the oc­casion which held at the Ni­gerian Army Shooting Range, Elele Barracks in Rivers state.

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