By Sumaila Ogbaje
Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) on Friday, graduated 73 participants of its Course 6/2022 after 34 weeks of intensive strategic and operational level military training at the college.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 74 participants drawn from the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police, other security agencies and allied countries commenced the course on March 28.
A total of 73 participants comprising 57 senior officers from the army, two each from navy and air force as well as six senior officers from ministries, departments and agencies.
There are six allied officers from the republics of Cameroon, the Congo, the Gambia, Liberia and Rwanda while one participant from Nigerian army passed on during the period of the course.
The Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, congratulated the participants for the successful completion of the 8-month rigorous training, which according to him has earned them another feat in their career.
Magashi, who was represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary and Director of Reforms, Mrs Susan Achida, said the military had been contending with multifarious security challenges with appreciable results.
According to him, a lot of progress has been made in the ongoing military operations in the North East, North West, and other theatres as a result enhanced joint operations among the three services.
He said the asymmetric security challenges had impacted heavily on the collective well-being of Nigerians and were increasingly posing a considerable threat to national cohesion.
This, according to him, led to the deployment of military across the 36 states and the FCT in aid of the civil authority as enshrined in the constitution.
“It is against this backdrop, that I must commend our troops who have exhibited unparalleled determination to decisively bring about peace and security across the country.
“Their loyalty, commitment, and doggedness in the various theatres of operations deserve every commendation and support from all Nigerians.
“The Federal Government on its part is ever committed to supporting the armed forces in the efforts to develop the right set of skills and knowledge of its personnel to be better prepared to tackle security threats that confront us all.
“That is the reason why operational-level training such as this is being conducted in the War colleges, with training outcomes that speak directly to the plethora of security challenges that have besieged our dear country,’’ he said.
Magashi commended the college for its commitment to manpower development in the nation’s armed forces and other security agencies.
He added that with the continuity and sustainability of training, the country would develop the required capacity to be able to overcome the present security challenges and those of the future.
According to him, war colleges the world over, hold their pride of place as centres of excellence for military operational leadership training.
He said that AWCN had remained focused and abiding in its mission of producing well-trained, educated, and inspired operational-level leaders for the Nigerian Army.
The Commandant, AWCN, Maj.-Gen. Bamidele Alabi, said the programme ran its full course and were implemented 100 per cent as intended.
Alabi said the college was designed to prepare participants for personal level training with emphasis on developing competency on higher military strategy, particularly operational art and campaign planning.
This, he said was reflected in the mission of the college which is to produce well trained, educated and inspired operational level leaders for the Nigerian army.
He said that AWCN had exposed the graduating officers to the dynamics of Nigeria and regional security environment, as well as global realities of today’s operational challenges.
According to him, participants were physically thought selected operational theatres, engaged with commanders and appraised the environmental and threat challenges and analyse the current operational plans in some of the ongoing operations.
“In this respect, they visited Headquarters Operation Hardin Kai in Maiduguri and Operation Whirl Punch in Kaduna and Niger states in October.
“I am glad to report that as part of the college training requirements, the participants having reviewed the situations on the ground, have developed operational plans for theatres visited in line with operational planning skills acquired on the course.
“The review operational plans, which were subjected to strict validations, have been conveyed to the respective theaters for consideration.
“This remains part of the college enduring tradition and contribution to the feed in enhancing overall national security,’’ he said.
The commandant said the college had prioritised strengthening its academic programme by deepening collaboration with other war colleges and international partners.
He said it had also developed capacity and had set up a war-gaming center, adding that the operation professional plans developed during the final exercises were extensively war games in the new centre,
Alabi added that the college had so far graduated 367 participants since its inception in 2017 and urged the participants to continue to be good ambassadors of the college.
The Chief Executive and Commandant, United Kingdom’s Defence Academy, Maj.-Gen. Andrew Roe, rated AWCN as one of the best in the world.
Roe said the defence staff of the British High Commission in Nigeria had continued to support the college by providing command, staff and leadership training packages.
He said the UK military institution had consistently received excellent reviews and feedback from its senior lecturers as to the high levels of engagement of AWCN participants.
This, according to him, demonstrates the quality of knowledge, experience and intellect within the Nigerian defence and security organisations and indeed the region.
He assured the college of UK’s commitment to strengthening the existing relationship with the college. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola