From Ben Dunno, Warri

Concerned over the spate of unprovoked attacks on his men and officers, especially in South-South and North East regions, authorities of 63 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Asaba in Delta state, have stressed the need for prompt alertness by its personnel in all the troubled zones of the country, in order to avoid being caught off-guard.

The Commander, 63 Brigade, Brigadier General Vitus Uwachukwu, who gave the charge while speaking at the opening session of 6 Division Inter-Brigade Corporal and Below Competition which kicked off at 3 Battalion Parade ground, Effurun, Delta state, yesterday, noted that the appeal for vigilance had become necessary at this critical moment.

He also enjoined them not to avoid keeping late nights in their best interest considering the difficult terrain where they are operating, as so many danger that could have been averted happens mostly at night.

Participants at the event were drawn from 2 Brigade, 16 Brigade, 63 Brigade and 6 Division Garrison are participating in the five- day Competition being hosted by the 63 Brigade of the Nigerian Army and also having the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division, Major General Jamal Abdussalam as the Special Guest of Honour.

The competition features weapon handling comprising stripping and assembling of rifles as well as shooting, physical fitness and obstacle crossing, map reading exercise, combat swimming and drill competition, among others.

Addressing the gathering, the General Officer Commanding, represented by the Commander 6 Division Garrison and South South Sector Commander, Operation Delta Safe, Brigadier General Edet Effiong, stated that the training was “about physical fitness and endurance training to prapare the troops to keep them fit for the tasks ahead”.

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

“And that is why this is organised yearly.

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

“It is basically to build their endurance and prepare them for the tasks ahead”.

The GOC noted that the training activities under the Competition “aimed at improving the combat efficiency as well as 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.

“The Competition will also put to test the participants ability to ensure under difficult circumstances while promoting esprit de corps among the troops,” he stated.

The GOC spoke further, “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 bedevilling our dear nation.

“The operational successes we have recorded so far would have been impossible if the troops physical fitness was in doubt. It is against this backdrop that training activities such as this becomes absolutely 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.