By Shedrack Frank
Elele (Rivers) – The Central Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy on Monday flagged off its small arms firing and range classification exercise to refresh its personnel’s marksmanship and weapons handling skills.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the exercise, which is part of the Nigerian Navy schedule of event for 2020, kicked off at the 5th Battalion Barrack of the Nigerian Army at Elele, Rivers.
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command, Rear Adm. Suleiman Garba, said the exercise was organised as part of efforts to improve personnel proficiency and professionalism in weapons handling.
He also underscored the need for continuous qualitative training of the Nigerian Navy’s manpower to effectively safe guard the nation’s maritime domain and resources.
He said: “The Central Naval command 2020 Small Arms Firing Exercise and Range Classification is part of Nigerian Navy schedule of events in 2020.
“It is organised to improve personnel proficiency in weapons handling and professionalism. The exercise will involve the firing of Tavour riffle, AK47 rifle, pistol and GPMG at different distances.
“Considering the current national security scenario and the multi-theatre operating involvement of the Nigerian Navy, it becomes imperative to continue to re-classify our weapons and refresh ourselves with the weapons.
“Targeted and focuses training on weapons handling will minimsze collateral damages and unintended outcomes.
“Accordingly’ the exercise would consolidate the proficiency of personnel of the command on weapon handling and marksmanship skills.”
Garba said the establishment of the Central Naval Command in Yenagoa, had greatly contributed to the relative peace being witnessed in the Niger Delta region.
He said the five-day exercise would further help the command to rid the creeks of the remaining criminal elements and boost the nation’s resources.
Speaking, the Special Guest of Honour, AVM Ibukun Ojeyeni, the Air Officer Commanding the Mobility Command in Yenagoa, said the exercise underscored the determination of the Nigerian Navy’s hierarchy to consolidate on successes recorded in the training of personnel.
Oyeyemi, who was represented by AVM Bala Abubakar, urged participants, including officers and ratings, to take full advantage of the exercise to improve on their firing and marksmanship skills.