About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. peccavi says:

    Op Serval Sitrep as of 15/01/2013
    Situation Friendly Forces
    • Fr. SF & MNA reported to be clearing en. forces from Diabal. House to house fighting
    • Elements of 2eRIMa have secured a bridge in Markala (near Segou), other Fr Forces have secured Niono.
    • Column of 30 ERC Sagaie reported heading North from Niono
    • Reinforcements from Core d’Ivoire of 40-100 vehicles, types not known but VAB’s, ECRs, AMX’s and 4WDs seen on footage. Armoured column reported moving North from Bamako evening of the 15th. Numbers and disposition unknown, exact bearing not specified.
    • Air strikes reported in Diabal and Niafunke (near Timbuktu) recce flights over Timbuktu
    • Civilians fleeing North to south
    • Konna has not been cleared as previously reported. This indicates there are either pockets of resistance or else infiltrators launching sneak attacks
    • Reports of MNA excesses against civilians
    • First Nigerian forces to arrive in Mali Company minus (190) today unit and type unknown
    • Germany has offered 2 x C-160 for ECOWAS use.
    Situation Enemy Forces
    En. Forces in Diabal reported to have broken down into 4-6 man units and fighting close quarters.
    6 x foreigners (Irish, French, Japanese) kidnapped in Algeria. Although no clear indications of origins of kidnappers or whereabouts of hostages, reports indicate they cam from N. Mali. Jihadists claim they hold 41 westerners including 7 Americans.
    En forces reported to be ‘frightened’ and mingling with the civilian populace in Timbuktu,
    En allegedly has cut communications in Gao to prevent people communicating with the military. Unsure if this is telephone and mobile.
    The ground offensive has begun; major units will most likely be in contact by tonight, for now the French are ‘shaping’ the battle field by securing their supply routes and blocking the Islamists from advancing further south or escaping west.
    The Islamists have entrenched themselves into Diabal, although militarily they are not a significant force, the town must be cleared in order to secure the area and by mixing with the populace and preventing them from leaving they force friendly forces into the long slow process of urban combat, not only does this tie up friendly combat power but civilian casualties and collateral damage can be used as propaganda.
    The reported deployment of Fr. Troops still leads me to believe Timbuktu will be the first target. Not only does the Diabal-Lere-Timbuktu axis cut the enemy of from Mauritania it isolates Kidal as well.
    The enemy has shown skill and tenacity and is reacting as expected, dispersing and fighting as small units, negating enemy firepower by forcing them to close with them. It is likely that the superior skill of Fr. Forces will prevail.
    The blowback has begun, with the kidnapping of 41 oil workers in Algeria, the group although linked with AQIM and co is not directly involved with the current conflict. Allegedly to punish Algeria for giving France overflight rights.
    The next BH spectacular attack will almost definitely reference operations in Mali. The question is whether BH has the capacity to launch attacks beyond what its doing now as it is already under pressure. This is unlikely but they still have the capacity to cause casualties with one or 2 spectaculars.

  2. beegeagle says:

    The French assets are beginning to come into clear view. Tonight at 2200hrs on CCTV, I noticed a convoy of five VAB APCs heading northwards and with locals waving joyfully as they drove past.

    Later on, I also noticed a Panhard Sagaie and two VBL scout cars in the vicinity with an assortment of Renault and ACMAT trucks and utility vehicles parked all around.

    It is clear that the fighting is about the free use of as much firepower on the enemy as power. That is what the French air raids have entailed and that is what the terrorists are doing on the ground. It is a game of “my gun booms louder than yours”

    Nigeria would do well to note this and prepare accordingly. For every remote outpost, the terrorists would attack with heavy firepower and with its total obliteration in mind. Our boys must be prepared for “one shot kills” – with anti-tank weapons and RPGs. Equip our troops with mortars aplenty so that they can hold off surprise attacks using heavy bombardment.

    If you pack a platoon of riflemen into a town and hope for heroics, it is not going to happen. Instead, they would flatten and then overrun the place. That would be thoroughly demoralising. EQUIP these troops with everything that is necessary.

  3. beegeagle says:

    Thanks for the SITREP, Peccavi.

    • peccavi says:

      Your welcome

      • jimmy says:

        Please keep this up . This to me is what i call removal of emotional baggage ( i don’t want to go of topic) but this is how you know who is really doing what and how they are doing it ose o ( thank you) very much this very precise and then we can make our own conclusions by reading between the lines.
        This blow back complicates matters for ALGERIA I have in the past hammered them FOR THEIR WANTING TO BE NEUTRAL even for the stated reasons .i knew they would be drawn in one way or another they do seem a little bit ill prepared they had to know straddling the fence was not an option once they gave up THEIR AIRSPACE THEY KNEW.

  4. demola says:

    are there any pictures of nigerian forces

  5. Donspony says:

    Chad to send in 2000 troops – Reuters.

  6. johnbest1 says:

    @original pato its 2000 troops.

  7. johnbest1 says:

    @original pato its 2000 troops.chad to send in 2000 troops to mali.

  8. makanaky says:

    Al Jazeera has onfirmed it is 2000 troops to be deployed as soon as possible

  9. beegeagle says:

    That confirms what we said about the fact that the Nigerian contingent shall yet become further expanded. There is no way that we won’t have 3,000 troops in there by mid-year. The ‘extreme seniority’ of the AFISMA Commander gives me this assurance. Otherwise, it was a Brigadier General Festus Okonkwo who led a similar-sized ECOMIL in Liberia in 2003. Otherwise, this brigade-sized contingent would not be led by a 2-star General but a one-star General.



    Based on the sheer seniority of the AFISMA Commander, a 36+ year veteran who could very well be a Lt General or General anywhere else, it is clear that his perch at the top of this AFISMA Force suggests, and this fact is buttressed by Nigerian traditions of phenomenally ballooning the size of ECOWAS forces through the rapid infusion of reinforcements, that subject to the ebb and tide of battle, AFISMA shall yet grow much larger in terms of manpower.

    When we went to Liberia under ECOMOG, the total number of troops from everywhere was around 4,000. At the peak of the War, Nigeria alone fielded 13,000 troops. In Sierra Leone, 7000 troops was the subregional total. At the peak of that War, Nigeria alone had 19,000 troops on ground – airlifting an impressive 9,000 troop reinforcements over 2,000km, mostly by C130 sorties, to Sierra Leone during the course of a ten-day period which coincided with the tide of the Battle of Freetown II between Xmas 1998 and New Year 1999.


    The Chadians have the most experience of fighting in the desert of all the West and Central African countries dating back to the 1980s era invasion of the Aouzou Strip by Libyan troops who they taught a few comprehensive battlefield lessons. They worked with the French at that time and the desert warfare experience has continued until the present day with Chadians rolling back a rebel army of 300 technicals launched by Sudan against the Ndjamena regime in 2008. The Chadians returned the favour by similarly launching Darfuri rebels into Khartoum in like manner, less than a year later.

    All to the good. It appears as if France want to use Chadian soldiers as first-line allies rather than the Malians. That way joint Chadian-Malian-French assaults would suffice and after they capture territory, Chadians would merge with Malians to garrison the place.

  10. peccavi says:

    Do we have the combat power for such a deployment?
    For how long? I’m infavour of a large force because we need to go in big and heavy and win but the question is how do we sustain this, ops in thenorth, in the south-south, Middle Belt, peace keeping and maintain a theatre reserve for allof the above as well as a strategic reserve?
    The units have to be rotated generally at the 1 year point with 3-6 months pre deployment training as well as casualties, courses etc.
    Do we have the combat power?

  11. beegeagle says:

    I DOUBT, Peccavi, that we are using more than 35,000 troops for combat operations and PKOs at this minute WORLDWIDE. Perhaps another 5,000 are fulfilling aid-to-civil-authority functions as is.

    Even 333 Air Defence Regiment right there in BORNO are on their way to Darfur as NIBATT 40 as we speak.

    Forget about those figures bandied about by CIA Factbook etc. The outgone COAS Gen Damabzau whilst speaking to TV journalists in March 2010 during the commissioning ceremony of the 660-unit Shehu Yar’Adua Barracks built by NA Engineers in 9 months at Abuja, said:

    “At the time when I came in as COAS in August 2008, we had a little over 90,000 soldiers in the Nigerian Army. The Navy had about 12,000+ personnel while the Airforce were 13,000+”

    end of quote

    In the face of funny writeups emanating from everywhere, some saying that the NA have 60,000 personnel, the NN 7,000 and the NAF 9,000, I have always said that those writeups were mired in the 1990s.

    Well, the Navy during Q4 2012 buttressed and exceeded my emphasis when the FOC West actually stated that the NN have 15,000 men; more than double the much touted 7,000 men which we read from ‘experts’

    Reality check

    If you ask me, we have anywhere between 90,000 and 100,000 men in the NA. JTF – Niger Delta ops heavily anchored around 2 Amphibious Brigade and 13 Amphibious Brigade plus 3 Battalion at Warri and 144 Battalion of 14 Brigade in the overlapping area around Aba/Omuma/Ukwa in the Rivers/Abia borderlands. That is all. I get to ground and you might recall a photo of a Panhard from the COAS’s village which I posted from that AOR.

    STF – Jos Plateau possibly have four battalions-equivalent plus NAF,NN,MOPOL,ATS and SSS in equal number

    MJTF – max one battalion today because of the insurgency. A decade ago that would have been one company affair.

    JSTF – draw heavily on about five battalions drafted plus about seven battalions and regiments in Greater Borno. Elsewhere in the Northeast, Bauchi ops anchored around in situ 33 Field Arty Bde+Armoured Corps Centre troops; Gombe around in situ Arty Regt, Mubi around in situ Regt, Yola around 23 Armoured Bde Garrison, Kano around 3 Motorised Bde Garrison, Kaduna around 1 Mech Div Garrison, Abuja around Guards Bde Garrison, Minna around 31 Field Arty Bde Garrison.

    That is the story.

    • peccavi says:

      If we have 90,000 and we have 35,000 on ops then we are over committed.
      thats 39% of our combat power committed.
      I am basing this on the rule of 3’s I’m guessing at national levels there are other calculus but as far as I’m concerned you should never commit more than a 3rd of your combat .
      Again our actual fighting strength is less than a 3rd of that 90,000 number. so fewer than a third of these troops are frontline. This is not including those who are unfit, unskilled, unqualified or whatever.
      These are all top of head calculations without knowing how many battalions Nigeria has, average tour lengths, pre deployment training periods, leave, battle casualty replacement policy and recruitment policy one can’t really calculate accurately. I’ve also not taken into account NN and NAF contributions. With all these thrown in we most likely achieve what we need to achieve with a small reserve but the problem question is we need a combat element that we can commit to any chosen theatre as well as a strategic reserve that one can commit when things start going very wrong or very right.

  12. beegeagle says:

    Do not forget that these CTCOIN operations are FULL triservice affairs.

    So the STF is aided by NAF Air Station in Jos – in men and materiel; Yola, Kano, Minna and MDGR by NAF stations; Kaduna is home to a full Air Command; and in the Niger Delta, JTF are also lumped together with naval shore establishments NNS Delta, NNS Pathfinder, FOBs Formoso, Escravos, Bonny and Ibaka, NNS Jubilee plus two full Naval Commands at Bayelsa and Calabar while NAF also do JTF ops with a full Air Command HQ Garrison at Bayelsa, 97 Special Ops Grp, 207 Special Mobility Grp and 61 NAF Detachment in PHC,CAL and Warri respectively.

    If the Mali ops shape up to demand a full brigade from Nigeria, they shall be able to deploy even by Easter. I have absolutely no doubt about that and I doubt that I am detailing stuff like someone who does not have a clear view inwards.

    • jimmy says:

      Based on the support groups and even being very conservative @5 full full divisions + 1 which the president has already pledged @ between fifteen thousand and 20,000 a division since Nigeria fields full blooded Brigade (4+ brigades) per division Nigeria has @ the very least 100,000 + army especially with the new intakes and recent developments for the coin operations it is safe to say especially also with more special forces battalions morphing into brigades Nigeria is more than capable of sending 3,000 troops . The question is who pays for this stuff and the extras that go with it.

  13. Chad’s troop contribution is very impressive. I feel that since they are French speaking they would easily mix well with the French Forces. I also think that we don’t need extra Nigerian Soldiers. I would rather we convert the loss of a large contingent to more firepower. If we have only 900 soldiers in Mali then let them be fully loaded with all the works. I also think our forces should be kitted for Night vision, Night attacks could play a role in this game.

    Gen Peccavi..thanks for the heads up. Please keep it coming.

  14. beegeagle says:

    You are guessing that less than a third of those are available for combat? O’boy, try go rest small. E be like you don taya for di day. Which kind tok be dis wan?

    How many brigades do the Nigerian Army have, even at an average of 3,200 think it is ten or fifteen? Why are you then guessing that we have LESS than 30,000 troops are available? Even each NIBATT going to Darfur has 800 officers and men and in all of the Army, you think that there are less than 30,000 troops available for combat missions in all the battalions and regiments of the NA – just so you can sustain an argument?

    When they step up the numbers in Mali, I shall tee up this thread. Only lay off mere conjecture and stop sounding like a Western analyst

    How many S+T battalions are there, Signals regiments, Base Ammo depots, Intel Groups, Education, Medical, MP and 17 training institutions? In TOTAL, do they number more than 20,000? So where did the balance of 70,000+ troops go to? They are all sick – since MRS do not conduct periodic checks anymore or they all have gunshot injuries?

    Do you know the NA in specifics at all or you just like to extrapolate from any general military rule book?

    In aid-to-civil authority roles, the nearest unit fills the role. So in Benin, it could be the troops of S+T training School rather than 4 Bde troops; in Makurdi, it could be NA School of Military Engineering rather than 72 Para Bn; in Kontagora it could be troops of the Artillery Corps Centre and not 311 Arty Regt? Do you also take that into cognisance?

    All this extrapolation just to prove the untenable point that there is a dearth of combat troops? Haba, na wa o. Abeg jo, mek I go compile stuff for blog. This argument is ab initio dead-ended. Tours of duty are six months..what else,they don’t get RCA so morale must be low?

    Nearly 8,000 fresh troops entered service last year. Where is this crunch which you see coming from? Even with the MOPOL, SSS, ATS, NSCDC making up one half of all the JSTF,STF and JTF units? Where is that massive crunch coming from? Is it the same Army which I encounter everyday?

    What next – 18,000 retired or were injured? Ah taya abeg..take am easy. If na Ghana or Britain now, you go add,rationalise and justify. Once it is Nigeria, worst case scenarios and deprecating conjecture suffice aplenty – as we nuh humble, you go manufacture minus sign to help we do subtraction wey we nuh deserve.

    Humility and humiliation are not the same thing abeg.

    • Enough said…..Beeg i wan send some pics of our troops departing…Make i send am to ur inbox

    • peccavi says:

      Bros I have never tried to be humble and humiliation is not a problem but what I’m trying to put across is that a of a company of 120-200 or only 90 are actually fighters, the rest are HQ, drivers, cooks service support etc.
      The multiples increase the larger the sub unit.
      That not withstanding the question is not just troops but sustaining them.
      Let me put it like this you have 6 units
      you have 1 on home duty
      you deploy 1, away for a year
      So you have 4 remaining right? Wrong
      Halfway through the tour another one has to start training to replace those on task
      you need a reserve of at least 1 unit
      you need an uncommitted element of 1 unit to assist the others
      so at anyone time on you have 2 on ops, 2 preparing to replace them, 1 on standby to support those on home or foreign duties in case of emergencies, casualties etc and a reserve that you hold for unforseen circumstances.
      Then the troops need to go on leave, go on courses, train individually or as a unit and rest.
      You can very quickly exhaust your forces this way especially with a series of disparate, mentally taxing roles such as COIN.
      Calculating combat power is not as simple as numbers.
      We can most likely scrape by, but scraping by is not optimal

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