14 January, 2014
THE Nigerian Army yesterday
announced the establishment
of a Special Operations Command (NASOC) to take the lead in the fight against insurgency and terrorism in the country.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Onyeabo
Azubuike Ihejirika told journalists at
the ‘Counter-Terrorism and Counter-
Insurgency Lessons Learned Exchange between the United States (U.S.) and
Nigeria’ at the Camp WU Bassey, Abuja that the idea of the Special Operations Command is to have a special group of “highly patriotic Nigerians ready to make sacrifices in the face of extreme danger.”
Ihejirika stated that the new command, recently approved by the Nigerian Army Council, will boost the transformation efforts of the army. According to the army boss, “a lot of the performance of the command will
depend on skills and human efforts
rather than equipment. And what we
are doing is creating a unit of highly
patriotic Nigerians ready to make sacrifices in the face of extreme danger.
“Having the Special Operations
Command will make operations at the
long run less cumbersome and
expensive. We want a unit that will
have the ability to sieve the grain
from the chaff, to be more accurate in their target, therefore reducing the
incidence of collateral damages.”
Ihejirika confirmed that the U.S.,
through its Africa Command, Special
Operations Command Africa and the
Office of Security Operations U.S.
Embassy is providing training assistance towards the quick realisation of the NASOC. In addition, the U.S. has approved some training equipment for the command.
Chief of Transformation and Innovation, Nigerian Army, Maj Gen Ibrahim Sani explained that the NASOC would be a “low density high level strategic utility force capable of conducting direct action at low visibility operations. NASOC operation will be governed by precision of conduct, accuracy, timing, speed and execution, surprise to keep any adversary off balance while in special operations.”