The Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta, codenamed Operation Delta Safe, on Saturday concluded arms handling training to enhance the precision of troops in operations.
The one-month shooting and marksmanship exercise came to a climax with an inter-sector skills-at-arms’ competition among the four sectors of the JTF based in the region.
At the end of the exercise, Sector 3 of the OPDS won the gold trophy. Sector 2 clinched the silver trophy while Sector 1 went home with the bronze medal.
Speaking at the event, Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, who was the Special Guest of Honour, reiterated that the performance of the military depended largely on their skills which are enhanced by training.
Dickson, who spoke though his deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd.), appealed for the sustenance of the culture of periodic training of the armed forces to help them overcome the security challenges facing the country.
He noted that the Niger Delta environment, which consists of creeks, swamps, rivers with settlements along the Atlantic coastlines was a very difficult terrain for military operations. He, however, noted that the challenging terrain was a blessing in disguise as it provides a suitable environment for military training.
In his remarks, the Commander, OPDS, with headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi, noted that the training was designed to enhance the combat readiness of the troops in view of the enormous risks they face.
Apochi said, “The need for training cannot be over-emphasised, more so due to the composition of the force with personnel across the services of the military.
“It is also to make the personnel from different services work as a team. The training is to make the personnel more proficient and increase their precision to defend themselves when under attack and to defend the citizens and oil infrastructure.
“The skills-at-arms contest was just an icing on the cake aimed at building team spirit, understanding among personnel from various services who are perhaps training together after their deployments to the JTF.”
Heads of the various military formations operating in Bayelsa graced the occasion which held at the Nigerian Army Shooting range, Elele Barracks, in Rivers State