By ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri
In other to sharpen the skills of its Officers and ratings in weapon handling the Nigerian Navy on Tuesday March 27 pledged its resolve to extend its Skill Arms Competition to Ships and its various Commands.
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Saleh Usman disclosed this on behalf of the Navy in Warri on Tuesday.
Rear Admiral Usman who was represented by the FOC Fleet Commander,Rear Admiral M B Nagenu spoke at the maiden edition of “Skill Arms Competition” organized by NNS Dorina on Tuesday.
While noting that the Nigerian Navy is structured into three Commands,Rear Admiral Nagenu said,”We have Eastern Naval Command which has a maritime environment of 21,720sq nautical miles to cover.
“We have Western Naval Command which hs 30,080sq nautical miles water to cover. But Central Naval Command has 31,200sq nautical miles of maritime environment to cover.
“From the data I have presented before you,it indicates that Central Naval Command has more areas to cover. Hence, we have more task to do. Central Naval Command has the highest oil infrastructures in our command.
“Again,Central Naval Command is the most volatile compared to other commands. By so doing,we have more tasks and hence,we have to quickly key into the Chief of Naval Staff strategic directive on training and refraining of Officers and Ratings in the Navy. And that is what dovetailed into Skill Arms Competition that you witnessed this morning ”
“Now,We have done this,we don’t want to stop here. Rather,this is just the beginning. We are going to extend it to competition between Ships. This is just within Dorina. We want to extend it to between Ships Competing and after this,it will now be gradually between even the establishment and possibly between Commands.
“By so doing,we are trying to sharpen the skill of our boys,our ratings or our personnels generally so that when they are called to operate,everything will be at finger tips. That is the essence of what we have dine this morning.”
In a welcome address, Commander,NNS Dorina,Commander M S Shettima corroborated the claims of the FOC stating that the “Skill Arms Competition” is in line with the Chief of Naval Staff strategic directive for continuous training and refraining of its Officers and Ratings in other to make them readily available and efficient in the discharge of their duties.
Commander Shettima noted that the first reference of any Officer,Rating or Soldier is his proficiency in arms handling.
He stated that the Navy has introduced alot of introductions and ideas to exercise the Officers and ratings with a view to bringing them closer as possible to the realities out there in the field.
“Everything we do in the Navy particularly is to secure the maritime environment, get rid of all sort of criminalities like oil pipeline vandalism,illegal refineries and a host of other illegalities that go on in our maritime domain.”
“This is the first like I said and am happy that the FOC represented by the Fleet Commander,Rear Admiral Nagenu is quite pleased with what we have done and he has assured that this will be taken to higher level. That is,from Ship level to Command level and I am sure in no time, once this gets to the knowledge of the appropriate superior authorities,we may even have it as an event in the Navy Nationwide.”