Army holds week-long weapon handling competition in N’Delta

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The Nigerian Army has embarked on a week-long weapon handling competition for soldiers within the ranks of corporal and Below drawn from the 6 Division in the Niger Delta region.

South-South PUNCH gathered that the competition aimed at “building their endurance and preparing them for the tasks ahead,

Other features of the competition include: stripping and assembling of rifles and shooting,  physical fitness and obstacle crossing, map reading exercise, combat swimming, and drill competition, among others.

Participants at the five-day competition hosted by the 63 Brigade at the 3 Battalion Parade Ground at Effurun, Delta State, are drawn from 2 Brigade, 16 Brigade, 63 Brigade, and the 6 Division Garrison.

The General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Major General Jamal Abdussalam, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the opening session on  Monday, noted that the competition was “about physical fitness and endurance training to prepare the troops to keep them fit for the tasks ahead.”

Abdussalam, represented by the Commander 6 Division Garrison and South-South Sector Commander, Operation Delta Safe, Brigadier General Edet Effiong, reiterated the need for soldiers to be physically fit at all times.

He said, “We have a lot of security operations that we are undertaking in Nigeria presently, so the troops have to be physically, mentally, and even spiritually fit to be able to tackle these security challenges. And that is why this is organised yearly.

“It is an Army Headquarters-directed exercise which is conducted at the division level and then all formations under the division are here to participate.

The GOC noted that the training activities under the competition “aimed at improving the combat efficiency as well as the readiness of the non-commissioned officers of the rank of Corporal and below, enhance their leadership skills and, as well as determine their organisational ability.”

He enthused,” The competition will also put to test the participants’ ability to ensure under difficult circumstances while promoting esprit de corps among the troops.

“It is pertinent to say that the importance of this training exercise to the Nigerian Army cannot be over-emphasized as it requires physical and mental fitness of troops to be able to confront the various security challenges bedeviling our dear nation.

“The operational successes we have recorded so far would have been impossible if the troop’s physical fitness was in doubt.

It is against this backdrop that training activities such as this become necessary if we must succeed in the numerous operations the Nigerian Army is engaging across the country.”

The GOC urged the participants to put in their best “without cutting corners.”

He also enjoined the umpires to ensure that nobody cheats so that the objectives of the competition could be achieved.

Speaking earlier, the Commander, 63 Brigade, Brigadier General Vitus Uwachukwu, warned soldiers in the formation to “avoid late night outings” in their interests.

He added, “It will not be out of place to enjoin every one of you to avoid late-night outings given the present security situations in the nation.”

Punch

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