EVERYTHING which we expected to happen in the Northeast as enunciated here and on discussion forums(Cybereagles Forum circa November 2009 when the outgone COAS General Dambazau gave indications to the effect that a revised ORBAT was on the cards, and again in Q1 2010 and Q2 2011) as we discussed the security situation in Nigeria) bar a fresh stand for a foothold in the mountains has come to pass.
BEEG EAGLE wrote:
Let us toy with ideas. If we did so with the West African Standby Brigade, nothing stops us from doing so in the patriotic spirit. It is OUR father’s Army. ANYWAY, time to gaze into that old crystal ball again
PREAMBLE: As of now, the ONLY geopolitical zones of the country which do not play host to the HQ Garrison of any army division are
*The South South is under the AOR of various brigades which are either under 2 Mechanised Division(with HQ in Ibadan, SW Nigeria) and 82 Composite Division(with HQ in Enugu, SE Nigeria).
* The North East, a large AOR spanning over 265, 000 sq.km. Some places in this AOR such as Kukawa and Arege are 900-1,000km away from Jos by road) are under the 3 Armoured Division with HQ in Jos, North Central Nigeria.
3 ARMD also covers Plateau and Nasarawa states in NC Nigeria
Coincidentally, the North East and the Niger Delta have these past five years proved to be the most insecurity/insurgency prone regions of the federation. The manifestations of insecurity include but are not limited to petro-terrorism, piracy, insurgency, islamist militancy, terrorism and weapons trafficking, both in the littoral deep South and the desert Far North.
The Nigerian Army seem set to realign and better position themselves with a view on getting a firm handle in these remote, geographically challenging and volatile regions of the federation.
To this end, do not be surprised to see
*a new COMPOSITE DIVISION with a STRONG DESERT WARFARE+SPECIAL FORCES+AIRBORNE bias to be HQed in MAIDUGURI (with GOMBE,YOBE AND BORNO states). Remember that Boko Haram first started out from behind the desert sand dunes of the Yusufari-Kanamma axis, with gunrunning and movement of mercenaries from Niger and Chad?
*a new AMPHIBIOUS DIVISION with a STRONG COIN+SPECIAL FORCES bias to be HQed in PORT HARCOURT( to cover the NIGER DELTA exclusively)
This will inevitably lead to the creation of new brigades, batallions and regiments to ensure that ALL divisions are kept at full strength. Brigades will take off on the backs of existing regiments and batallions in various states.
POSSIBLE NEW STRUCTURE:
*3 ARMOURED DIVISION WILL CONTINUE as presently constituted but will now cover NASARAWA, BAUCHI, GOMBE, TARABA AND PLATEAU STATES in NE and NC Nigeria.
*2 MECHANISED DIVISION stays the SAME.
*1 MECHANISED DIVISION stays the SAME.
* today’s 81 DIVISION (whose designation would probably be taken by a possible new division HQed at PHC) will revert to being the LAGOS GARRISON COMMAND
* ABUJA will CONTINUE as ARMY HQ GARRISON COMMAND
* 82 DIVISION could emerge as AN ARTILLERY DIVISION with HQ at ENUGU. That should dispel notions of strategic abandonment which has been ringing out loud in recent times and ensure North-South parity, with the Armoured Division in the North and the Artillery division in the South. With some of its brigades pulled out to form the new amphibious division HQed in PHC, TWO NEW BRIGADES could emerge in that AOR
– a new artillery brigade in Makurdi
– a new mechanised brigade in Umuahia(the 14 Infantry has since been formed)
* a possible NEW DIVISION HQed at Maiduguri will have two new brigades to bring it up to strength
– a new mechanised brigade in restive and saharan YOBE state.
We could see the emergence of the first-ever wholesale desert warfare batallion to be stationed at Nguru or Yusufari. The brigade will also have an armoured batallion, an artillery regiment and an airborne batallion, all concentrated on Yobe state.
– a new artillery brigade will probably emerge in GOMBE state.
*the NEW DIVSION(which could become 81 Amphibious Division) in PHC would probably lead to the emergence of a crack amphibious brigade in BAYELSA.
To have three divisions up North and three divisions down South, with the AHQ Garrison Command in Abuja and a LAGOS GARRISON COMMAND to balance up the picture.
(PS: The above scenario was first painted on Cybereagles Forum in November 2009 during the course of discussions with a posse of brilliant and patriotic military-savvy Nigerians such as Fregulf, Igbanibo, Ocelot 2006, Uche Africanus, Eyimola, Kash ‘n’ Karry et al)
OPTION II (PREFERRED)
The AOR of 3 Armoured Div touches on some towns which are a full 900-1,000km apart in terms of road distance eg Gembu to Arege or Arege and Shendam. That AOR is as large as Poland or Cote d’Ivoire. That appears to be too much for one division to handle since it is not an empty quarter such as we have in the saharan Adrar or Tamanrasset Prefectures in the Far South of Algeria.
Even as it is the largest division of the Nigerian Army(with SIX brigade-sized formations), 3 Armoured Division’s AOR not only spans 1,000 miles of international frontiers with Cameroon, Chad and Niger but ALSO covers what is easily the most volatile AOR of Nigeria
To the SE of Jos, Yola is 540kms distant. From there, garrisons such as Serti and Takum are located over 400kms away. MANY garrisons under the 3 Div AOR such Baga, Monguno, Biu, Mubi, Bama and Serti are situated 500-600 miles down the road from the Div HQ Garrison at Jos.
In the light of contemporary challenges, methinks a well drilled infantry division should be formed in the outer states of the Northeast (Yobe,Borno and Adamawa), leaving 3 Armoured Div with an AOR that spans Bauchi,Taraba,Gombe,Plateau and Nasarawa states.
The Northeast features mountains, desert terrain, jungle and savanna and it is imperative that the Army’s ORBAT reflects the full diversity of operating environments which suffice across the federation.
The only difference is that, in line with our peculiar realities, the said infantry division should have some modifications which reflect the strategic juxtaposition of that region. That explains the emphasis on strong armoured and artillery components.
*one infantry brigade at Maiduguri incorporating two counterinsurgency-biased battalions at MDGR, a desert warfare battalion at Damasak,an artillery regiment at Biu and a tank battalion at Bama – five battalions+Bde HQ Garrison since Borno is equal in size to Rwanda,Burundi and The Gambia put together and shares borders with three countries)
*an infantry brigade with HQ in Damaturu with a desert warfare battalion at Yusufari, counterinsurgency-biased battalion at Damaturu and an armoured battalion at Potiskum plus Bde HQ Garrison.
*an infantry brigade with an airborne battalion+Bde HQ at Yola, a mountain warfare battalion at Madagali, an armoured battalion at Numan and an artillery regiment at Mubi
*Divisional HQ Garrison at Maiduguri with all elements in tow – Base Ammo Depot, Div Signals, Div Engineers, Provost battalion, S & T battalion, MI Group, Recce Bn etc
So how do you copy, gentlemen? Let’s explore possibilities, albeit unsolicited and unofficially, for your Army and in the national interest.