Institutionalizing Synergy Among Nigerian Armed Forces
By Mahmud Abdulsalam
Nobody can downplay the significance of collaboration, teamwork and cooperation. For the various arms of the Nigerian Armed Forces, it is sacrosanct.
They greatly deserve to forge synergy as they carry out their individual mandates, to achieve collective goal of tackling lingering insecurity in the country.
In recent times, however, the Nigerian Army, Air Force and Navy, have been doing just that.
This can be gleaned from the support of NAF Air Task Force to Army, or better still ground troops in both the anti-banditry and counter-insurgency operations, in both the North West and North East regions.
The military cooperation, among other things, have led to the mass decimation of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists.
Else where in the South South and South West regions, army troops, with the support of NAF jets have been pounding oil thieves, vandals, pirates kidnappers and other shades of criminal elements.
To sustain and perhaps boost the existing synergy among the various military forces, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor recently called on the Army, Navy and Air Force War Colleges to institutionalise synergy in order to promote and sustain the ideals of joint operation exercises.
The CDS gave the charge while declaring open the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) maiden Joint Operations Planning Exercise (JOPEX) codenamed Exercise Sky Lock 2021 for participants drawn from the 3 War Colleges holding at Army War College, Abuja.
Gen Irabor said, Exercise Sky Lock 2021 marks the beginning of an enduring tradition in the Services War Colleges that would entrench the culture of joint planning in military operational leadership level, which is a vital tool in tackling the multifarious contemporary security challenges and future military operations.
The CDS enjoined the war colleges to sustain the ideals of joint operations planning exercises, by institutionalising synergy, as evident in joint planning, training and collective effort in security operations.
He described the war colleges as laboratories and incubation centres for the production of military operational level plans, measurement of performance and effectiveness towards subsisting and reviewing of plans for enhanced effectiveness.
The Defence Chief maintained that the participants will gain requisite knowledge, skills and capacity, particularly in areas of operational art to enhance their professional judgment in a joint operations environment.
The Commandant, Army War College Nigeria (AWCN), Major General Solomon Udounwa, in his welcome address, expressed gratitude to the CDS and Service Chiefs for their commitment in actualisation of the exercise, after several previous attempts in the past 4 years.
Maj Gen Udounwa said, “realisation of the Joint Operations Planning Exercise 2021 underscores the CDS efforts to promote jointness in the Armed Forces and other security agencies.”
The Comdt further disclosed that the primary mandate of the Services War Colleges is to build as well as develop capacity and basic skills of military operational leaders in management of war and employment of military power across different domains and operational environments.
According to him, nearly five years since inception, the colleges’ alumni are contributing significantly to the ongoing military efforts in addressing insecurity in the nation.
He added that the Colleges could benefit more through deliberate efforts to promote joint academic activities. He posited that the conduct of JOPEX would foster further understanding and collaboration among the colleges while enhancing cooperation and camaraderie in the Armed Forces.
Prominent among the series of activities lined-up for Exercise Sky Lock 2021 would include planning and execution phases.
The week-long exercise is expected to bring out significant takeaways, including need for continuous situation awareness by operational Commanders, proactiveness and reactiveness to incidences and synchronisation of response and efforts of all stakeholders.
Others are; the need for critical thinking geared towards effective planning and preparation, joint and inter-agencies cooperation with other security agencies as well as the importance of detailed, effective and realistic logistic planning.
It is only a matter of time for insecurity to become history. But that is if the Nigerian arms, which include the Army, Navy and Air Force, will take their joint synergy a notch higher.
Mahmud Abdulsalam is Assistant Editor PRNigeria
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