Following the resurgence of militant activities in the Niger Delta region, the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt said it had trained about 200 soldiers to carry out special marine operations and rescue missions in the area.
Brig-Gen Stevenson Olabanji, the Com-mander of 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army, said this at the graduation ceremony of young soldiers of 73 Regular Recruit In-take in Harry’s Town, Degema Local Government Area, Rivers State.
Olabanji said the exercise by Operation Pulo Shield Sector 2 is aimed at equip-ping soldiers with the requisite marine skills and boost troop’s readiness at com-bating oil theft in the region.
According to him, the army leadership has taken personnel training seriously in view of current security challenges con-fronting the nation in the North-East and other parts of the country.
“To this end, the training began on December 14 with 200 young and fresh soldiers from Nigeria Army Depot in Zaria with the aim of familiarizing them with their operating environment.
“The soldiers were trained in basic unit regimentation covering field craft and minor tactics, internal security operations, general service knowledge, range classification and swimming, among others.
“The young soldiers also received special training in basic swimming lessons owing to the peculiar nature of our operating environment.
“This swimming exercise is to equip with necessary survival skills as they will be operating in coastal areas”, he said.
Olabanji expressed optimism that the training would boost soldiers’ proficiency to better navigate the creeks, and as such, put an end to oil theft and attacks on oil installations in the region.
The commander said that current dynamics in the country require that the army become more professional in the dis-charge of its responsibilities and operation conduct.
He urged the 200 soldiers to obey mili-tary and civil laws, adding that discipline, hard work and commitment must be the watchword in discharge of their duties