By KATO P. KADAN, Kaduna
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has hailed the Nigerian Army Corps of Artillery (NACA) for the crucial role it has been playing in ongoing military operations in the country.
Buratai made the remarks during the closing ceremony of Exercise Vulcan Glow VI on Saturday in Kachia, Kaduna State.
“There is no doubt, the capability of the Nigerian Army Artillery Corps to provide an effective fire support for all Nigerian military operations remain very crucial and important towards our operation.
“The exercise have further reaffirmed our resolve to remain well trained and focused as we march forward to have a professionally responsive army in the discharge of our constitutional roles.
“This is more so at a time when indeed the Armed Forces is trying to address the security challenges, most especially the insurgency and other criminal activities bedeviling our nation.
“Without doubt I am very impressed with the overall conduct of the exercise Vulcan Glow llV. The professional drills displayed at the corners.”
Buratai also commended the artillery corps for not restricting itself to the conventional roles, adding that the corp had keyed into concerted contemporary security challenges and military operations.
According to him, this was a queue from the experiences and lessoned learned from the ongoing operation in the North East and other threats across the country.
He added that the incorporation of other combat support elements into the exercise had equally added credence to the synergy that must exist among the combat support arms.
“We are all conversant with the wide logistic demands of the artillery, thus I am much encouraged seeing the artillery access that has been made serviceable for the conduct of this exercise, despite limited resources.
“This exercise platform which is an annual event will continue to be utilized for the needed training for the Nigerian Army School of Artillery personnel towards improving their competence and that of the Nigerian Army in general.
“I commend the corps for keying into the agendas of the army, in the areas of research and development.
“Through this initiative, the giant strides recorded by the Corp towards repositioning itself for better performance through sourcing and using of local materials are commendable.
“Their efforts have surely enhanced weapon equipment operational capabilities, especially in our counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in the North East and other parts of the country, as well as ensured optimum efficiency of Nigerian Army personnel and equipment.
“This effort has also led to some breakthrough in remodification of 105 MM Obligation 14 Horwitzer and the 105 MM m56 drones and development of fire control computer applications among others.
“I’m optimistic that the input of the NASA will make positive impact in the overall quest to have the much desired military industrial complex,” he said.
Buratai, however, charged the Corps to sustain the progress already made by further strengthening the existing collaborations with relevant research agencies and institutions.
Earlier, the Commander of the Corps, Maj.-Gen. Usman Yakubu, said the exercise is an artillery concentration focused on planning, employment and deployment of artillery resources in all phases of conventional wars.
Yakubu said that the exercise was also conducted primarily to asses the combat proficiency of military formations and units in fire support planning, delivery and their capabilities and constraints in counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations The Commander said that NACA would continue to train and retrain its personnel both in Nigeria and abroad to improve on their proficiency in the discharge of their roles.
Buratai used the occasion to lay the foundation stone for the building of the administrative building of the Nigerian Army School of Artillery in Kachia.