The foregoing refers.
Going into Mali, the core requirement is for troops who are trained in Counterterrorism, Counterinsurgency and Desert Warfare. Against the backdrop of the fact that unlike no time before in its history, the Nigerian Army are currently churning out CTCOIN-biased troops, the report which was scripted by Afua Hirsch was calculated to defame and to mislead.
* In 2012 alone, the Nigerian Army have trained over 8,000 troops in the RELEVANT counterinsurgency and counterterrorism skills of Close Quarter Combat, Fighting In Built-Up Areas, IED/Ambush Defeat, Hostage Rescue, House Clearing and trained combat engineers and K9(War Dog) teams, both at home and in the United States of America.
As we write this, another batch of 1,500 troops are undegoing training in the same arts at the all-new Nigerian Army Training Centre, ensuring that within the next few weeks, the total number of CTCOIN-biased troops trained in this one year alone would rise to 9,500 officers and men.
Afua Hirsch’s article becomes even more laughable against the backdrop of the fact that as recently as October 1st, the Nigerian Army commissioned a new 176 Special Forces Battalion. That would complement the older 72 Special Forces Battalion which has been in existence for a few years now and has already seen action in the Niger Delta and in our War on Terror.
This is to say that by the end of this month, the Nigerian Army should be in a position to say that they have put together enough Special Operations Forces and CTCOIN-biased troops to form an army division. More importantly, they have been inducted into battle, gaining relevant combat experience in the process.
Even if ECOWAS decide to send in 4,000 troops to Mali with Nigeria making up half of that number, how can a Nigeria with that number of troops(11,000) with tailor-made skills and experience applicable to the Malian situation be objectively assessed by any journalist worth his onions, as not having the men with the requisite skills sets? The Nigerian Armed Forces similarly undertake mandatory desert warfare field training – the geographical imperative for operating in Mali.
See FOOTNOTES in the comments section to judge for yourself.
Concerning KITTING, there is nothing else to do than follow up the obtuse claims advanced by Afua Hirsch by showing photographs of the troops who are currently leading the War on Terror at this time inside Nigeria and from whose ranks the troops who shall be going to Mali will be drafted. Photographs presumably are still worth a thousand words.
It is instructive to note that the ONLY factory which manufactures night vision goggles and bulletproof vests anywhere in West, East or Central Africa was commissioned this year, a joint venture between Isreali firm MAROM DOLPHIN and the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria. What other items do we need going into Mali? For goodness sake, we even now produce Night Vision Goggles(essential for CTCOIN operations) and bulletproof jackets in Nigeria. So what was she saying about kitting?
Graduation of the Quick Response Group Batch 6 from the Basic Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency Proficiency Course(Jaji Stream)
So much for kitting