NIGERIAN ARMED FORCES IN “EXERCISE AFRICAN WINDS” WITH U.S, DUTCH, BRITISH AND SPANISH FORCES (III) (WORLD EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS ; PROPS..HENRY, A BEEGEAGLE’S BLOGGER)

Participating local and foreign contingents

Participating local and foreign contingents

Nigerian and foreign commandos reflect on operational details

Nigerian and foreign commandos reflect on operational details

Nigerian Naval brasshats and foreign counterpartds pose for a group photo

Nigerian naval brasshats and foreign counterparts pose for a group photo

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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19 Responses to NIGERIAN ARMED FORCES IN “EXERCISE AFRICAN WINDS” WITH U.S, DUTCH, BRITISH AND SPANISH FORCES (III) (WORLD EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS ; PROPS..HENRY, A BEEGEAGLE’S BLOGGER)

  1. peccavi says:

    Boko Haram was rural force that became urban and has now returned to the rural areas. It has reacted competently to the pressure from Nigerian forces who’s operations seem to have the following characteristics;
    • Identify enemy base camps using intelligence from informers, locals and patrols
    • Confirm this with surveillance assets,
    • Neutralise the camps with air strikes by fixed/ rotary wing
    • Clear camps with troops dismounted from vehicles
    From a force protection point of view this is a safe tactic but if the objective is to kill or capture the enemy it is quite inefficient and in difficult terrain will inevitably leave a significant number of insurgents alive to fight another day.
    The only way to defeat an enemy is to get close to them and destroy them; support fires such as air strikes and artillery are best called in by people who can actually see the target.
    Thus in as much as these operations will inevitably disrupt the enemies operations, enough insurgents will survive, and enough weapons and stores will be cached to allow them to continue operating. It is inefficient to use conventional forces, tasked and organised conventionally to chase after light, mobile forces as experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan show.
    In order to defeat the enemy, one must inflict sufficient casualties upon the enemy to reduce their numbers, destroy their supplies and limit their freedom of movement
    In order to inflict casualties on a lightly armed, mobile enemy with good local knowledge and no fixed bases, they must be contained in a given killing zone where the superior numbers and firepower of the security forces can be brought to bear, in order to fix them in place; you have to find them, in order to find them you have to look for them.
    A Solution:
    For the purpose of this argument a light mobile force is proposed. This force will use light mobile forces to bait the enemy into a fight where they can be fixed and destroyed by superior skill and firepower.
    This force should be a strengthened Company Group with its own logistics and air support and should consist of several elements;
    • Hunter force
    • Strike Force
    • Mobile Group
    • Main FOB
    • Air wing
    Hunter Force: will consist of a platoon of 30 men, this unit’s task will be to move within a given area of operations in order to draw the enemy into a fight. To this end it must be capable of operating independently for a given period of time without resupply, of fixing/ defending itself against a superior force for a given period of time and defeating a smaller, weaker force. The main effort of this force is to compel the enemy to concentrate forces for a fight or to curtail their freedom of movement so they are unable to operate. To do this they must be able to move and fight without a heavy logistic trail and be able to react quickly to contacts. Primarily this should be a foot mobile force, however it could also be mounted on horses or quad bikes.
    Organisation: the platoon is organised into a headquarters, 3 manoeuvre elements and a fire support element
    Platoon HQ: Platoon commander and radioman,
    Platoon Fire support team: Sergeant, radioman, 2 man 60mm mortar team and 2 man 40mm multi barrel grenade launcher team
    Sections: Three 8 man commanded by a corporal with 6 riflemen, a machine gunner and RPG man
    Equipment: in addition to personal weapons, support weapons such as 7.62 machine guns, RPGs, 60mm mortars and 40mm grenade launchers. The latter 2 provide an indirect fire capability which can put fire into enemy hiding in caves, behind walls, on reserve slopes of hills etc. Radios for communication within the platoon, back to HQ, with aircraft etc. Quad bikes for carrying ammunition, casualty evacuation etc.
    Tactics: the platoon’s job is patrol until it comes into contact with the enemy. Once in contact it is to call in for air support and reinforcements. In a hostile environment it is to act as provocatively as possible such as putting up wanted posters, leaving messages for enemy commanders, and then set up ambushes. The main effort is to force the enemy to commit to a fight on terms favourable to friendly forces
    Air Quick Reaction Force: The AQRF should consist of the Air Wing, Company HQ and a strengthened 40 man platoon of four 8 man sections (the sections can be further broken down into 4 man fire teams) mounted in two helicopters
    Organisation: the Force should be sub divided into a Fixing Force and a Strike Force, mounted in the Ari Wing and commanded by the Company Commander.
    Fixing Force: should consist of at least two 8 man sections, these are lightly armed elements, consisting of 7 riflemen and one machine gunner. The task of this element is to block the withdrawal routes of the enemy and push them towards a killing zone
    Strike Force: should consist of at least one of the section will be the command section which will form the nucleus of the Strike force, with the Platoon Commander, a radioman, a Corporal, 2 x 40mm multiple barrel grenade launchers, 2 x machine guns and an RPG man. Other sections or fireteams can be added on to this force as necessary. They will always be deployed last from the helicopters once the decisive point of the contact has been achieved.
    Tactics:
    Once the Hunter Force has made contact with the enemy it is the job of the AQRF to deploy immediately to find, fix and destroy the enemy. Once the Company commander is flying over the contact area, the Hunter force will guide him onto the enemy position. The commander could then drop his Fixing force in 4 or 8 man teams to cut off any likely areas of enemy withdrawal and then advance on an axis to either push the enemy towards open ground where they can be destroyed by the helicopters or force them to stand and fight, so they can be fixed and destroyed by the ground forces and air power.
    Once he has encircled the enemy and pushed them towards the killing zone, the Strike Force is deployed in an ambush or overwatch position to destroy the enemy by direct fire, with air support. If the enemy has decided to stand and fight the Strike force lands to provide a fire support element while the platoon commander takes control of the other sections to launch a hasty platoon attack.
    Mobile Group: this is a vehicle mounted force which constantly patrols the vehicle accessible areas in the area of operations. When a contact takes place this element moves as close to the contact area as possible and sets up an hasty Forward Operating Base, where casualties can be received, helicopters refuelled, prisoners secured, ammunition, water etc resupplied, radio signals relayed and reinforcements forward loaded. Consisting of two vehicle mounted platoon, fuel trucks, supply trucks and Radio trucks it is commanded by the Company second in command. As fire support the Mobile Group has its vehicle mounted weapons and 81mm mortars. If this element gets into a contact it can call in the AQRF if it is not committed to assisting the Hunter Force.
    Main FOB: the main FOB will contain the Company HQ, helicopter ground crew and stores. There will always be one platoon resting at this location. This is where all the forces deploy from. It is suggested troops rotate between tasks
    Air Wing: this will consist of 2 strike and 2 lift helicopters. Nigeria’s rotary wing capability Consists of
    Strike Quantity Support Quantity Liaison Quantity
    Mi 24 4 Super Puma 7 R 66 2
    Mi 35 7 Puma 5
    Mi 8/17 10
    AW-109 12

    Conclusion:
    A Company Group such as this would need to be well led and well trained, with constant training with all elements. Particularly in terms of commanders all of whom must be competent and confident enough to think and fight independently (for a period) communicate effectively by radio, call in air strikes and mortars and act in concert with the air element.
    Specially designated zones particularly in the border areas or difficult to reach areas would be ideal for a force such as this. Additional specialists such as trackers, medics etc would be useful additions.
    Physical fitness and marksmanship will be key individual skills; however air power will be one of the most decisive assets. By working in conjunction with ground forces, this asset can be used much more efficiently.
    There are many better military solutions to the evolving tactical problems presented by Boko Haram than that above. It is the contention of this commentator that there are currently only military solutions, thus thinking must evolve as to how military assets can be used more efficiently to bring this insurgency to a rapid end.
    In difficult terrain against a ruthless, mobile enemy the Nigerian Security Forces must use their limited resources judiciously. With aggressive tactics and well trained, well motivated and disciplined soldiers, the war can be taken to the enemy, taken into their comfort zones to defeat them at their own game. When they are only able to move in groups large enough to defeat a well armed, well trained aggressive Hunter Force or Mobile Group, then the enemy is vulnerable to detection by surveillance assets and destruction by air and conventional forces. When they are forced to disperse then they are no longer effective.
    In the absence of political solutions to this problem, innovative low tech military ones should suffice.

  2. BossJoe says:

    I don’t think this is African Winds, because both the Army and Naval special forces have AK-47, and in other pictures of African Winds i have seen, the Navy’s SBS use their standard issue Tavor

  3. beegeagle says:

    🙂 Oga BossJoe, so what is it?

    Even the landing craft which is larger than our own Stingray and is way too small to be a landing ship(tank) such as NNS Ambe should have already cleared your doubts. HMNLS Rotterdam, a LPD in a manner of speaking, arrived with Landing Craft Utility and Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel, some of which can be seen in the Getty Images link posted in the main thread by COLONEL. You can see one of the landing craft in the photo 1 and that is not a Nigerian-owned asset.

    In any case, the TAR 21 is not the positive standard of identification of the SBS. In ONE DAY and within one compound on the day that the P-O-P of the SBS’s BOCC 7, the chaps on guard duty held AK47 rifles while everyone else held TAR 21s. Never mind for a field exercise which stretched for all of 3 weeks, took into cognisance various theatres and scenarios and held in Lagos, Calabar and at the Oron beach.

    To be sure, the naval brasshat in the middle is the FOC Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu at his HQ in Calabar. He is coincidentally flanked by military personnel from the four foreign forces which participated in the event – drawn from Holland, Spain, Britain and the United States.

    The desirable does not negate the existent. SBS commandos simultaneously and on an everyday basis use both the TAR 21 and AK47..till tomorrow. That is just the way it is.

  4. beegeagle says:

    Operationally, this makes a lot of sense. Very nice one, Peccavi.

    Except you are talking owned assets, I would however, pointedly ask the FG to concentrate on the acquisition of right-priced and baggage-free Mi-17 helics from Russian surplus stocks. We have a history of the operability of our military hardware being impacted by political maneouvres. We need to keep that in mind. As we speak, a major African country are feeling the heat. What works best for my country – from the standpoint of the effectiveness of competing systems, our history and continuing attempts to manipulate, firmly underpin my own preference for certain systems.

    For the going rate, Mi-17s acquired from surplus stocks amount to a steal and represent the best bang for the buck. A smaller and certainly less rugged helic such as the Super Puma, even one drawn from surplus stocks, would cost twice or three times as much. And good and reliable as the Puma/Super Puma and Bell 412s are, they do not rise up to the lofty battlefield standards set by the Mi-8/Mi-17.

    From a cost-benefit angle, not to mention familiarity, I believe that this was why the U.S.A acquired Mi-17s for the Afghan Air Force…and also saw the Iraqis who they mentored acquire same.

    Let us categorise the Mil helicopters thus

    Mi-24V/Mi-35P – attack
    Mi-17 – transport/utility
    Mi-171Sh Terminator – assault

    If I had my way, we would continue to acquire Mi-24V/Mi-35P/M-17s from surplus until we have 24 units of Mi-24V/35P and 18 units of Mi-17s.

    Then, we can begin to phase in brand-new units of the full-featured Mi-35M such as the Brazilians acquired lately (a Mi-28 in a Mi-35 frame, I call it) and the Mi-171Sh Terminator..with the long-term in view.

    Speaking of useable technologies, low tech as you like to call it, the MiL helics are not incredibly complicated system but are extremely reliable, durable and do their duty. For good measure, after 13 years of service with the NAF and despite being flogged like no other helics have ever been used in NAF service, we have only had two crashes involving Hind helics.

    One Mi-35P crashed during the April 2007 polls whilst helping out with logistics. It was restored to full functionality at LOM Praha and resumed service in October 2008. That was NAF 530

    In May 2013, we had a freak accident involving a Mi-25 (Mi-24D, thai is) at PHC and we are still waiting to learn if that can be similarly restored to service.

    So if your truly useable plan revolves around in-service assets, mighty nice. Otherwise, whether it be from the perspective of pricing, the mission requirement, ease of maintenance or ruggedness, I would like to see the NAF firmly gravitate towards factory-refurbished Mi-17s and new-build Mi-171Sh Terminator airframes.

    For scout helics, we can use either the militarised ex-German Bo-105s or Bell IA-47s made in America.

  5. beegeagle says:

    THESE WOULD DO NICELY.

    – 24 units delivered to the Iraqi Army, Jan 2011-May 2013.

    ARMAMENT

    – the Dillon 7.62mm M134T minigun
    – M260 2.75in seven shot rocket launcher

    EQUIPMENT

    – nose mounted Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera for night vision

    Prior to the emergence of the armed Bell 407GT variant in 2013, the drive towards the militarisation of the Bell 407 single-engined light helicopter had commenced in 2011 with a unique order for 24 units of the Bell IA-407 armed scout helicopter (IA = Iraqi Armed), configured to meet Iraqi mission requirements for CTCOIN operations.That order for 24 units of the Bell IA-407, an ideal variant which would suit Nigeria’s needs very well, was fulfilled in May 2013.

    The Bell IA-407 of the Iraqi Army Air Corps are used for SURVEILLANCE and ANTI TERRORISM operations. Their absolute relevance to Nigerian CTCOIN needs no elucidation. The price is just right as well. These are simple, effective and laden with COTS accessories.

    The Bell 407 was developed from the Bell Jet Ranger.

    PHOTO CREDIT: GLOBAL MILITARY REVIEW

  6. beegeagle says:

    ELSEWHERE, BEEGEAGLE WROTE

    https://beegeagle.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/boko-haram-usa-pledge-to-expand-training-opportunities-for-nigerian-military-security-operatives/

    The USA probably own 1,500-2,000 units of OH-6 Cayuse, OH-58 Kiowa and MH-6A Little Bird armed scout helicopters. How many of those can be sold and/or transferred to Nigeria to fight terrorists? These are the more meaningful interventions needed at this time – not a convoluted sequence of meetings over stuff which are applicable to the 3-5 year timeframe.

    The old refrain about ‘could be used to hurt civilians’ and ‘abuses’ is a worn out script. Is it not happening in Pakistan? Have the Egyptian security forces not exceeded all records of abuse set by any African country as we speak? Are they not using infinitely more offensive U.S-made HARDWARE in Pakistan and Egypt?
    HRW do not have an office at the State Department. Sometimes, the USA can afford to ignore them since they are raising alarm all the time anyway.

    My submission is that, on the evidence of what we see in Pakistan and Egypt, the USA will stand with anyone who they choose to stand firmly beside. Let us see that happen with Nigeria if we are truly all together in fighting terrorism.

    The NA and NAF could use some of these
    MH-6A Little Bird helics NOW

    MISSIONS

    * Light Observation Helicopter
    * Air interdiction
    * Forward Air Control
    * Special Patrol
    * Insertion
    * Extraction

    SPECS

    General characteristics

    Crew: 2

    Powerplant: 1 × One Allison T63- A-5A or T63-A-700 turboshaft, 317 hp (236 kW)

    Performance

    Maximum speed: 152 knots (175 mph, 282 km/h)

    Cruise speed: 135 knots (155 mph, 250 km/h)

    Range: 232 nm (430 km (267 mi))

    Service ceiling: 15,994 ft (4,875 m)

    Rate of climb: 2,067 ft/min (10.5 m/ s)

    Armament

    Guns:
    Two M60 or M134 Minigun 7.62mm machine guns; Two .50 cal (12.7 mm) MG pods

    Rockets: Fourteen 2.75 in (70 mm) Hydra 70 rockets in two pods

    Missiles:

    Four TOW missiles in two pods;
    Four Hellfire missiles in two pods

    PERFECT FIT for the tasks to be performed in Nigeria. Just let us have units armed with .50 cal HMGs and 2.75 inch rockets and no fleeing terrorists shall get past our borders.

    Less talk, more susbstance for CTCOIN operations. 36 off-the-shelf units of the helic pictured above (or the OH-6 Cayuse/OH-58 Kiowa), sold and/or transferred and we shall truly be in business for the specific tasks.

    Thank you.

    • peccavi says:

      The basis for the write up is using existing units but in my minds eye I have the OH-58 types as my ideal, smaller, faster lighter they can be used as dedicated gunships while helicopters like the Hip/ Puma or wven Agusta can be used for carrying troops. we need a dedicated light close support capability. the MI17/ 24 are for fighting formed armoured units, whilst good they are not really what would be ideal in this situation.
      As you have correctly pointed out, this is an ideal opportunity for the Nigerian government to turn that FTO designation into something concrete.
      If the the US Leahy Law still bars sale of lethal equipment then they can be sold as unarmed ‘liaison’ aircraft with all the hard points and wiring left intact and then the NAF can re arm them at leisure.
      24 of these beautys flying patrols and close air support would destroy the enemy

  7. freeegulf says:

    gen peccavi, good idea. impressive! however, this brilliant plant is not tailor made for the current Nigerian armed forces. with the SANDF, or even the ZDF, yes. but our military, far from it.

    firstly, there’s a doctrinal spasm. the top brass will not leave important assets such as these to the hands of a mere company commander. i know this might be surprising to some. but what is regarded as normal and basic in western forces is a very big deal in our military. in the USAAF, warrant officers can handle logistics, air field security, and other demanding responsibilities. the US army also has warrant officers flying helicopter gunships. the attitude towards hardware and its optimum use is completely different from what you will get in Nigerian armed forces

    secondly,this counter guerrilla team cannot survive without air asset on standby!! NAF flying machines are few, really few! the NAF crew are already stretched as it is. to have an air wing dedicated to ”AQRF team”, what will happen to other allotted missions? they cant have the air cover that your plan necessitates. not possible. like i mentioned earlier, the ZDF can pull this through. as a small force they re quite resourceful. and this resourcefulness paid off during the congo war.

    thirdly, who would ultimately run this AQRF? is it 7 div? defence HQ? DIA? the turf war as it stands currently is already overwhelming the NSA, and same time, these turf battles are undermining the needed efficiency to combat boko haram from a comprehensive hold.

    now you have a small mobile team, with some junior officers in charge ( mind you, the senior officers would not seat idle for such strategic, game changing force to be handled by the lower rung) and prosecuting the war. this is Nigeria. they mix politics with profession. when benjamin adekunle was running wild, capturing territories everywhere, they turned on the heat so high that poor black scorpion nearly outran himself. in the end, just to make sure his civil war glories do not reappear, he was forcefully retired in ’74 base on allegations that where not even proved. mind you, all the senior officers then had their hands in one dirty biz or the other. but he, the black scorpion was scaped goat.

    same thing happened in the late 90s. maxwell khobe as a mere colonel (in an army that was top heavy with general officer ranks) liberated Freetown. it stirred a lot of envy and under the table controversies. khobe the braveheart, died of injuries sustained from many battles, spanning from late ’97 to early ’99. ( he took a sniper bullet in feb ’98 during the liberation of Freetown. and suffered several shrapnel wounds too)

    if you are looking for a traditional military structure, steep in bureaucracy (yes most professional armies fall within these spheres also ) and rigidity, you don’t have to look very far! why the old SADF gave their NCOs great leeway and thorough professionalism, ours did not dare! why, because the ghosts of july ’66 still hunts the army. no one wants a situation where NCOs will start mutinies and changing leaderships, irrespective of whether the officers benefit or not.

    yes, the army is far more professional now. and yes, even NCOs now have university degrees (albeit, in the hope of furthering their careers to become officers ) but it will still take a while for the institution called NA to transform and for the attitudinal change to seep through in terms of doctrine.

    once again, oga peccavi, your plan is excellent and if implemented, would definitely squeeze the operational life out of these miscreants. but for it to happen, hmmm. maybe we need some red neck to command this force, and for the air force to increase their rotary wing assets, and also, procure more UAVs. not forgetting the least, the glory really needs to be shared first among the top brass, and not some major or capt.
    there’s is no capitaine thomas sankara as paratrooper in the NA.

    in a nutshell, you have to bring this sweet plan and fit it into the nigerian environment for it to see the light of day

    • doziex says:

      Oga freegulf, you are Right.

      Nigeria is a top heavy “Oga knows best” society, that doesn’t encourage thinking outside the box.

      President GEJ can solve this problem, by making Oga peccavi’s force answerable to him directly.
      However, our president isn’t just that sophisticated.

      As for commanders, the likes of Khobe (late), Victor Malu, Major Tanko, and Yarki saki Bello is needed.

      It would be wise and my preference to add Col. Eeben as an advisor to such a force. The situation is already a mess, we need the best hands on deck.

      Remember guys, if NA fails, Nigeria would fail.

      • peccavi says:

        Oga Eeben and his boys would be ideal advisers in this as the Rhodesians and SADF did this par excellence, but this is our war. We have to fight it and win it ourselves

      • doziex says:

        So, with our national survival at stake, you would bet on GEJ and the likes of our CAS?

        Well, I hope they deliver, or we are Fcuked.

  8. peccavi says:

    Oga freegulf, the politics and wahala is the same in every army. IT takes a long time for people to accept new ideas or any perceived or real attack on their position or stature.

    As per the unit itself I would see the platoon commanders as senior captains rather than 2Lts or Lts, as befits a specialised role. The company commander could be a Lt Col or Col. and the company designated a battallion or task force, whatever is needed.

    The air asset issue is much more pressing and again is not unique to Nigeria, however if the unit became a divisional asset under direct command of the GOC or even better a strategic asset under the direct command of AHQ, then resources could be made available, Even the Agustas would suffice, along with a Hind gunship. In the absence of a serious enemy anti aircraft capability then a single providing cover for the unarmed Agustas which could then climb out of range into a holding pattern observing the battlespace and passing on directions..

    However this is just one idea, the thing I’m trying to look at is how to end this thing and to end it quickly using the resources that we have at hand. There is no political or negotiated solution to this issue that I can logically see so the only option is to fight until the enemy is killed captured, dispersed and defeated and the only way to do it is to take the war to them on their own level

    • peccavi says:

      BH obviously reads the blog as they’ve just taken out the helicopters!

      • doziex says:

        I have had a premonition in the past few days about this occurring. Those shiny alphas on the tarmac, just presented too juicy a target.

        I withheld from opining on the topic, cause I thought we may be giving BH way too many pointers, since NA is slow to make any changes or corrections.

        Anyway, lesson learned. BH is capable of adapting and improving as fast as it desires.

        And so does the NA.

        I have said that this war is a race as to which side adapts and learns quicker. Best practices for both sides is an internet click away.

  9. freeegulf says:

    gen peccavi, yes, there’s politics in every army and military. but our own mago mago is too much. even if such tactical unit comes to fruition, and we have a red neck officer in charge, answering directly to the CDS, we still have to raise the needed air assets to efficiently make this special operations unit a success. now boko haram has reduced to assets even further.

    if we cant get our act together and see this insurgency as an existential threat, then i guess we dont need to coexist as a nation. the USA will probably come in to secure their oil flow. moreover, they do have a complete plan to seize the nuclear asset of pakistan should the TTP advance further.
    the pakistanis, after their daydreaming and support of islamists, have now come to understand the meaning of full circle and getting stung in the a** by ones bad deeds.

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