The Central Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy on Monday began its small arms firing and range classification exercise to refresh the marksmanship and weapons handling skills of its personnel.
The exercise, which is part of the Nigerian Navy’s schedule of events for 2020, took place at the grounds of the 5th Battalion of the Nigerian Army at Elele, Rivers.
Rear Adm. Suleiman Garba, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command, said the training was organised as part of efforts to improve proficiency and professionalism of the officers and ratings in weapons handling.
He underscored the need for the continuous training of the personnel of the Nigerian Navy to enable them to effectively safeguard the nation’s maritime territory and resources.
Garba said: “The Central Naval Command 2020 Small Arms Firing Exercise and Range Classification is part of the Nigerian Navy’s 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 rifle, AK47 rifle, pistol and GPMG at different distances.
“Considering the current national security scenario and the multi-theatre operations involving the Nigerian Navy, it becomes imperative to continue to re-classify our weapons and refresh ourselves with the weapons.
“Targeted and focused training on weapons handling will minimise collateral damages and unintended outcomes.
“Accordingly, the exercise would consolidate the proficiency of the personnel of the command in weapons handling and marksmanship skills.”
The FOC said the establishment of the Central Naval Command in Yenagoa had greatly contributed to the relative peace being witnessed in the Niger Delta region.
Garba said the five-day exercise would further facilitate the efforts of the naval command to rid the creeks of criminal elements and boost the security of nation’s resources.
The Special Guest of Honour, AVM Ibukun Ojeyeni, the Air Officer Commanding the Mobility Command of the Nigerian Air Force in Yenagoa, said the exercise underscored the determination of the Navy authorities to consolidate on successes hitherto recorded in the training of the naval personnel.
Oyeyemi, who was represented by AVM Bala Abubakar, urged the participants, including officers and ratings, to take full advantage of the exercise to improve on their firing and marksmanship skills.