21 February, 2015

Before we go back to our old, retiring ways on account of the burgeoning fortunes against Boko Haram, the Nigerian Army owe it to Nigerians to raise a desert warfare battalion and a mountain battalion by July 2015. They do not require more than three months of intensive training. The mountaineers can be trained at Serti or Gembu in the lower reaches of the Mambilla Mts at about 1,752 metres above sea level or in the Sonkwala Mts around Obudu at 1,574 metres above sea level. The desert warriors can be trained in the northern hinterland of Yusufari or Gashua.

For the near future (6-15 months), I hope to see a Special Operations Command at AHQ level, headed by a Major General, designated as the GOC, Special Operations Command and comprised of the following organic untis

– five special forces battalions
– a mountain battalion
– a desert warfare bn
– a combat engr regt
– an artillery regiment
– a recce battalion
– a mechanised battalion
– a War Dog detachment
– a Gunboat Company
– an Air Mobile Company

If asked to do so, we can draw up a US$35 million shopping list for that command. The startup units of this Special Operations Command as envisioned can be emplaced by September. It will be our firstline of defence in all cases of asymmetric operations.

If we had them now, the GOC-SOCOM would be based at Damaturu while his five Battle Group Commanders, all full Colonels, would be based at Nguru, Mubi, Baga, Geidam and Gwoza, deploying rapidly by Mi-17s and by MRAPs, Landcruiser gun-trucks, APCs and IFVs to support the operations of the 7 Div whereever their hands need to be firmed up or where they need specialist skill sets to optimise battlefield gains.

The general purpose Task Force Alpha would deploy at GOC’s HQ and be commanded by his Garrison Commander

We could have this structure..

Battle Group 101
* a SF Bn
* a Mountain Bn

Battle Group 119
* a SF Bn
* a Desert Ops Bn

8attle Group 177
* a SF Bn
* a Mech Bn

Battle Group 153
* a SF Bn
* a Recce Bn

Battle Group 123
* SF Bn
* an Arty Regt

Task Force Alpha
* Combat Engr Regt
* Gunboat Company
* Air Mobile Company
* War Dog Detachment

By the way, since America love to sell non-lethal equipment, we might as well ask for the sale of Excess Defense Articles in the form of three C-130 Hercules. They can keep the rest of their kit for now. Obama will be gone someday soon. Sunshine follows a dark night..


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. KKY says:

    Oga Beegs, may I suggest we look at the Pilatus Porter (PC-6) aircraft for our SOCOM fleet as well.

  2. Are James says:

    This keeps the command doctrine and operational skills sufficiently localized to AORs.
    The command will be highly proficient in desert warfare and marine operations and would be the country’s main executor in those areas. Setting up this command protects the main army professionally and ensures they do not go completely down the road of COIN.
    We want to be able to do low intensity conflicts effectively but we don’t want our entire army to become an army of Isuzu trucks and gun boats. This command needs at least 25000 men.

  3. jimmy says:

    I second this with one amendment:
    The special operations command must include at least one or two
    SF BN that are amphibious in nature yes oga beegs we have them in the Niger delta but the conflict in the lake chad area has taught us regardless of how small or big lake chad is Nigeria must have men who can swim unnoticed at NIGHT OR DURING THE DAY IN this area gathering serious intel training year round.
    1) The training manual for EVERY SINGLE NAF PILOT must be changed you know how they have the AVIATOR WINGS it needs to be changed / added to include either a man in a silhouette (black) in a G-SUIT with the moon in the Background depicting a night time flying rating minimum 30 hours of flying (one month without INCIDENT)
    BH has taught the Nigerian ARMY & the Nigerian AIR FORCE some bitter lessons:
    1) you have not arrived till you have learnt to fight at night over a multitude of areas for fire fights lasting 5- 10 hours
    2) The NAF pilots are not real pilots till they have bombed, strafed and machine gunned some group of insurgents in the dead of Night any competent pilot can do it during the day.

    • Lordfej says:

      I think the special force battalion should be navy marines based in calabar

    • buchi says:

      jimmy i support oga beegs accretions as when as ur no 1 wholeheartedly but i believe that if when it comes to the lake chad as an AOR one amphibious battalion AND ONE NAVY HEAVY BATT should create a balance of opps..if we cant get the needed manpower at all times the Navy should be ready to haul ass.{just a thought}

  4. ugobassey says:

    I would suggest like the Seal Team and the Spesnatz, the Nigerian special forces should be given a name that is very unique to us alone, a name that terrorists and alike would come to fear and dread….any suggestions?

    • Augustine says:

      Oga ugobassey, I am not suggesting names, just thinking aloud… Naija Ninjas, Black Scorpions, Black Dragons, Giants Of Africa (Chad and South Africa go vex well well if you use the word Giant anything), Lions Of Africa, Nigerian Dragons, Immortals, Fiery Force, Terminators, Valour Team, Lion-Hearts….

    • jimmy says:

      The Night stalkers
      The Night walkers
      The Watchmen

      • Lordfej says:

        The navy should have a marine regiment of 1500 men based in calabar and badagry, they can be called Nigerian navy marine commandos (NNMC) as per the tier one army special forces they can be called Esu also known as extra special units but we know it means nigerian devils

      • lol @ Watchmen i kind of like Black Dragons

    • Augustine says:

      Super sweet story Oga Jimmy…..sweet detailed story of all stories !

      We shouted repeatedly many times before on this patriotic blog in the last 12 months that new equipment will help us win this war faster and with less casualties on Nigerian troops, pilots and innocent civilians, and it has been proved with our AGL, MGL, T-72, BTR-4, Mi-35, Night combat capable jets and helicopters, Precision Guided Munitions, missile armed Drones…..

      I said before that Nigeria will win this war, NA has NEVER lost a war in 150 years, history is on our side, our army motto says Victory Is From God Alone ! Amen to that !

      • beegeagle says:

        Some were calling for low-tech solutions and seemed to be offended anytime the FG made a move to acquire hardware.

        Coming as it were from supposed patriots, that was truly astounding.

      • jimmy says:

        Oga beegs No mind them some people go want make we use Shakabula set take am go fight.
        Confirmed : The boys are in high spirts very high spirits book haram is being pursued and hunted down like the rats that they are they are being killed,it is relentless. NA are on the momentum .I am trying to get a screen grab for my aburo of the green white green fluttering somewhere in Baba.

      • jimmy says:

        Oga beegs No mind them some people go want make we use Shakabula set take am go fight.
        Confirmed : The boys are in high spirts very high spirits book haram is being pursued and hunted down like the rats that they are they are being killed,it is relentless. NA are on the momentum .I am trying to get a screen grab for my aburo of the green white green fluttering somewhere in Baga.

  5. KKY says:

    My Oga’s, we should NOT rest on our laurels.
    The suggestion of SOCOM with the attendant requirements for specialist equipment must be a priority.
    This is the future.

  6. Augustine says:

    Let Nigerian Special forces be equipped properly and to modern standards :

    1. Personal role radios for every soldier (Some NATO members’ new standard)
    2. Man portable long range communication battlefield tactical radio
    3. Satellite phones for units/teams
    4. Rifle in class of Beryl wz. 96C version as standard issue personal firearm
    5. Night Vision goggles for every soldier
    6. Body armour and elbow/knee pads, and gloves for every soldier
    7. Camouflage uniforms for different terrains colour/temperature/ecology
    8. Hand grenades for explosive fragmentation, smoke cover, and stun grenades.
    9. Flare pistols for night illumination and color smoke for signals
    10. Super-light weight Commando mortars
    11. General purpose light machine guns
    12. Fifty Cal heavy machine guns
    13. Four barrel Minigun/Gatling guns
    14. Multiple Grenade Launchers
    15. Automatic Grenade Launchers
    16. Man portable ground search/track radars
    17. Man portable Quadcopter Day/Night UAV/Drones in class of Aeryon Sky Ranger
    18. Sniper rifles with day/night electro-optical sights
    19. Day/Night vision long range field binoculars
    20. Laser range finders and Thermal Imagers
    21. Man portable See through wall imagers for special, high value tasks
    22. LED pocket torchlights and Infra red flashlights
    23. Shoulder held light-weight anti-tank guided missiles launchers
    24. Shoulder held light-weight anti-aircraft missiles launchers
    25. Breaching equipment and Plastic light weight explosives
    26. Time delay explosives and Remote control explosives
    27. Portable bomb disposal equipment
    28. Man portable light-weight mine and explosive detectors
    29. Emergency medical kits backpacks
    30. Personal navigational digital backlight compass for every soldier
    31. Fast ropes, tactical climbing ropes and body harnesses
    32. Pocket size Bible or Quran, whichever applies to each soldier, Nigerian army official motto says “Victory Is From God Alone”.

    My own 2 kobo contribution.

  7. asorockweb says:

    From memory, I can recall that we have:

    “Desert Force 1” – not sure about the unit size

    A Mountain unit – not sure if it’s a company or a battalion

    A handful of SF Battalions – seems to be a cheap recast of our Recce Battalions. Please let’s go back to our Recce battalions.

    But the SF that I can vouch for are:
    Airborne & Amphibious battalions – tested, proven
    SBS – tier 1

    The Air Force SF formation must concentrate on:
    Base defence – recall the attack on the Maiduguri airbase?
    Rescue of downed pilots – the enemy is brutal, falling behind enemy lines is a real threat.
    Forward Air Control – CAS is the backbone of the NAF, and the NA has no helicopters.

    Honestly, I would want to re-organize the entire Armed Forces, given a chance.

    Let’s bring back our Formed Police Units from UN service. We need them at Dikwa and Gamboru.

    • Lordfej says:

      Yes I would also want a massive re organisation. General aso rock web I support a lot of what you said but if I might add my 2 kobo. We should have 3 army groups led by a Lieutenant General, the groups should have a complete spectrum of capabilities. The special forces command should be an army group on it’s own and should have a dedicated fast attack battalion that’s ready to go at a moments notice

  8. giles says:

    Oga beeg I once watched on nta some years back NA desert training. so I hope it may form basis for Dat battalion

  9. beegeagle says:

    The Nigerian Army Desert Force 1 are no more than a company-sized unit. So is the mountaineering unit at Serti. That is completely inadequate.

    Using the borderline intended for the Great Green Wall to keep out the Sahara as marker, it is 1,500km between Arewa LGA of Kebbi State and Abadam in Borno State. A company-sized contingent, even for the currently assailed 400+km stretch between Nguru in Yobe and Abadam in Borno, can also be described as inadequate.

    Concerning highland warfare units, the 1,900km Nigeria-Cameroon frontier has a minimum of two-thirds of the borderline ringed by mountains and plateaux – from Obudu in the Sankwala Mts to the Kunatata Highlands, Mambilla Range, Gotel Mts, Shebshi Mts, Alantika Mts, Adamawa Highlands and to the Mandara Mts….all the way from Obudu to Gwoza-Kerawa. What would a company of mountaineering troops do for the NA over such an extensive ‘faultline?’

    My suggestion of a startup mix of one battalion each for mountain and desert warfare is even for the short-term. If we are never again to be caught hopelessly unprepared, we should be thinking of two battalions of mountain and desert warfare troops ideally.

    Again, the NA have to be thinking of a situation whereby manpower levels are deep enough as to be able to have 25,000 men deployed and optimally supplied within three months of the start of any armed conflict and they should be able to boost that figure to 50,000 troops within six months. Even at that, there should still be a pool of 30,000 troops available to drafted into action should any concurrent exigencies arise anywhere else within the federation.

    Imagine what the NA would have been up against IF the Niger Delta Insurgency were in full swing as I write this? So the NA really need to think about boosting manpower levels to 150,000 men until 2030 in the first instance.

    @Giles. Yes, Fifth Term (Year 5) cadets do undertake field exercises in desert warfare at Yusufari in the Far North.

    • Nnamdi says:

      @ Beegs,

      In furtherance to your suggestion on bolstering number of troops in national emergencies, I would suggest that concept of NSCDC and probably MOPOL should be changed from ordinary recruitment into those services into the Army feeding them with reserves she can always call up, brush up and deploy within 4-6 weeks. The capacity shortfall in those services are taken up by police who can always liase with community vigilante services to do those jobs.

      It is high time we stopped seeing NSCDC in particular as a social welfare scheme, but rather a strategic military reserve on civil duties.

      • chynedoo says:

        We need a Territorial army kind of set up which should feed the NA whenever the need arises. The UK has the same setup, and I think a number of countries do same. Or we could go the way of a conscript army. Instead of allowing all those talented, bored, energetic graduates gagging for adventure to while 12 months away in the NYSC, we should use them as a feeder pool for the army in a TA format and conscript type pattern. Then those who show certain skill sets should be moved to the regular force, while at the same time having a wider pool of trained individuals to call up when the need arises. Again, we need to start looking at building an elite unit in the army, by elite I mean using the TA and conscript format to assimilate some of the best brains in the country the graduates who would otherwise end up doing rubbish jobs, a good number of who end up going abroad earn masters and PhDs in USA, UK and across Europe but end up working in care homes washing elderly patients, and doing security guard jobs….we need to start sucking up these talents into the army as soon as they graduate.
        It is easy for us to meet the needs of our armed forces, both scientific and manpower needs because Nigeria has a very young population ratio compared to most developed or developing countries.
        The NA also need to open recruitment offices across the country where young Nigerian youths could walk in and sign up. The recruitment methods in the Nigerian army is irregular, and almost like a civil service job exercise. This mentality needs to change. If we plan the recruitment format to standard, then it would be easy to plan, say, tailor various formats to different units of the army, so that as soon as someone works in, the army recruitment officers already have an idea of where such potential recruit could be channelled, the pre-recruitment exercise, the weeding-out physical drills, and all that….the medicals etc….from the start we’d know where we want to channel recruits according to need.
        This format could easily help us form or train up new units on short notice. But again, the practise round the world is for special forces to be drawn from different units of the armed forces by recommendation only.
        For instance, the SAS training is not open to civilians or new recruits but rather to soldiers already in the force with the required proven skills, fitness etc these are then put through the SAS training programme. The Russian Spetsnaz and the US special ops do same thing. The NA seem to have a problem of manpower at the moment and may find it even harder to poach on regular soldiers for SF training as units may not be able to fully contribute soldiers for SF roles.
        Surely a country of nearly 180 million require an army of more than 80 thousand soldiers

      • jimmy says:

        Oga recruitment is not the problem. Most of what you said makes sense however, conscripts and elite units do not go together and this is the Achilles heel of the Algerian Army
        What to do? Just like in the 60s Army seargents should go to certain School to recruit both Non commissioned officers and
        Commissioned officers. Also there is nothing stopping Army officers from attending graduation ceremonies to recruit fresh graduates.. This insurgency will force the armed forces to change their recruiting procedures however conscription is not one of them.

  10. COLONEL NGR says:

    Giles, the NA introduced desert warfare into the curriculum of cadets at the academy. the spend a few weeks training at yusfulari in yobe state.

    i support oga beeg’s analysis. it is hightime we have a division for special forces with different capabilities. it should be headed by a Maj.Gen who hve special forces training. they should be named BLACK SCORPIONS.

    • gbash10 says:

      The’ Black Scorpion’, as the late Brig. Gen. Benjamin Adekunle rtd was called during the Civil War, would have been a good name for the NA Special OPs Command as it has been suggested by a blogger here.
      The Guards Brigade should hand-over the Scorpion insignia to this new command.

      • gbash10 says:

        If the NA don’t take the Black Scorpion, then the NAF should take it as a fighter jet Squadron name!

    • giles says:

      I know Dat. but it’s been long so by now if NA had wanted a desert force. we maybe talking of atleast a desert brigade by now

  11. beegeagle says:


    Oga Beeg, since they’re trying to come up with a name for our special
    forces that is solely Nigerian which our enemies should come to fear, I
    propose “S.P.I.R.I.T”

    S: Strength/Speed
    P: Precision
    I : Integrity
    R: Ruthless/Ruthlessness
    I : Impact
    T: Tactics/Tact

    By word ‘spirit’ on its own is synonymous with the afterlife and the sole purpose of the team is to make sure that terrorists in their theater of operations are reunited with their loved ones in the afterlife and their motto should be aptly termed “Kill Them All” or “Dead the day they were born”

  12. NJOKU OUJ says:

    Oga beegs seconded. “SPIRIT” it should be; “KILL THEM ALL” the motto!

  13. beegeagle says:

    Who is writing all of this? T72 tanks – 4? Is he talking about the four units he saw in a photo about to be loaded onto an AN-225 late in January? As early as Q4 2014, the T72 tank was in action at Mubi. Were those ones leased? Better he knocks off that figure and states “numbers unknown”

    T72 tanks fought at Mubi in Dec 2014. So the 4 units spotted at an airfield in Ostrava cannot be an accurate figure. The writer should admit that he does not know a thing about the numbers acquired
    There are T72AV tanks acquired in Ukraine in 2014 and T72M1 tanks acquired via EXCALIBUR of the Czech Republic.

    A pair of T72 tanks were also spotted at Maiduguri ever before any of the four units seen at Ostrava had landed in Nigeria.

    For the avoidance of doubt, this insert from the Czech Republic puts the number of T72 tanks acquired by Nigeria through EXCALIBUR at 58 UNITS of T72M1. And the NA already had an unknown number of T72AV tanks acquired late in 2014 in service

    T72 tanks photographed Feb 1st 2015 at MDGR

    AGAIN, where abd how did he arrive at a figure of 24 T55 tanks? Compare that gross underestimate to this

    • beegeagle says:

      This photo from late in 2014 shows an example of a T72AV acquired from Ukraine whereas the world only woke up to the reality of Nigerian T72 tanks when the EXCALIBUR deal made headline news during the third decant of January 2015

      My point…NOBODY knows the total number of T72 tanks in Nigerian service. EXCALIBUR are selling 58 units of T72M1 tanks while there has been a parallel acquisition of Ukrainian T72AV tanks which entered service earlier in 2014 and well ahead of the EXCALIBUR deal.


      So the writer of that WIKIPEDIA should leave out the hugely flawed estimate entirely. There are T72 tanks fighting in Baga, Mubi, MDGR, Monguno and Gwoza so where and how did he arrive at a figure of four units?

      • Are James says:

        Wikipedia is funny. Actually very dangerous. If I were a mischievous neighbouring leader or insurgent leader and I read that table, i would seriously want to have a go at that Army. I actually think whatever the true figures are we have a lot of acquisitions to do. I am going to use the word again. It is ‘ treasonable ‘ to allow the current state of affairs to continue.

  14. Emmanuel says:

    I totally agree with the expansion of our special units!! But I’d rather suggest a total restructuring of the military after this counterinsurgency is over. This war has really exposed so many gaps in the army and airforce, i just hope we would have learnt our lesson!! The army should as a matter of urgency resolve our ORDINANCE, MOBILITY and DOCTRINAL issues!! Reports of 3 mags per soldier is “sacrilege”, it will be better if all arms of the military are so well equipped by default then the special units provide the “icing on the cake”! Does the army have an air wing? I’m not sure if they do, we must increase our airborne assets! I hope we also invest in the total mapping and radar coverage of Nigeria so that no threat will ever have anywhere to hide whether in the CREEKS, MOUNTAINS or CAVES……

  15. ozed says:

    I agree that a dedicated Special Forces Command is critical. Aside from the various terrain type specialization of the spec. Forces, we need to also define them by mission. E.g.
    – Crack Light infantry type SF akin to the US Army Rangers operating in company size groups to storm enemy strong points e.g. training camps bases etc. using chopper borne insertion, or para drops etc. I suspect thats they kind of SF the army has today. We can then specialise them by terrain e.g. a battalion for amphibious, desert, mountain etc.

    – Behind enemy lines strike groups operating in smaller teams i.e. platoon to multi-sections, Expertise in sabotage operations, infiltration etc. Akin to the SEALs and SAS

    – Deep penetration strike teams riding on all terrain vehicles e.g. like the Chindits, Merrils marauders, Long range Desert Groups of the WW2, more recent examples would be Selous Scouts from Rhodesia and the SADF strike teams who operated in Angola etc. They would probably operate in platoon to company sized teams, trained to live off the land in desert or jungle etc.

    Of course the Army may decide all these abilities can be inculcated into same men, but i tend to think that ultimate expertise would require tons of training and practice and it might be difficult to get the same men to achieve this levels of proficiency in so many areas within a reasonable time frame.

  16. beegeagle says:


    Nigerian 6th battalion is a SF unit right? I met them in Akwa Ibom NYSC camp in 2005 when they rotated out of Sudan (providing security during the peace talks that led to the formation of South Sudan). At that time the battalion consisted of paratroop and amphibious troops, with the amphibious unit similar to our current SBS, they also saw some action in Cameroon during the Bakassi conflict. Predominantly their mission seemed to be infiltration, intelligence gathering, HVT security and sabotage of enemy assets. They were some real hard body dudes, I think they barrack out of Aba. Any body have information on them?

    We dont need a special name for our SF, as long as they can do the work our enemies can call them whatever they want while they (the enemy) die and lose strategic assets.

  17. beegeagle says:

    6 Battalion, Ibagwa at Abak is a formation under 13 Amphibious Brigade. They used to be an amphibious battalion but are now a motorised battalion.

    That has been the story of the continuous reinvention in 82 Div. In the 1980s and 1990s, it had airmobile, airborne, air portable and amphibious battalions. Post-1999 and with the slide towards armed conflict in the Niger Delta, practically all of these units became amphibious battalions save for 72 Bn which became the 72 Special Forces Bn.

  18. Augustine says:

    My Ogas, Nigeria needs a special bilingual French language speaking brigade, as we are surrounded by French speaking countries. For instance, all NA troops in MNJTF should be bilingual, also, some selected NAF pilots may need to fly aircraft across border and be communicated by the host nation….speaking French, how do Nigerian pilots or soldiers reply?

  19. Manny Aaydel says:

    @Oga Augustine, good point. However, the ‘language of aviation’ is English. It does not detract from your laudable suggestion though. It surely would help if our pilots spoke French. There are a lot of Nigerian soldiers in particular who speak French and fluently too. I dare add to your thesis that Arabic should also be a language our boys and girls in service should also learn (re:unfolding Libya, Mali scenarios). The practice in the past (1980s) when several platforms were built for the NN in Germany and France was to post the entire ship company to those countries throughout the duration of the construction. Thus a lot of them came back fluent in German and French. I think the NN maintains this practice so we should not be surprised if some of our sailors now speak Chinese (and possibly the first batch of F-7Ni pilots and Engineers in the NAF), which is really good for us anyway. Others CyberGenerals can update info on the sustainability or otherwise of this laudable practice.

  20. Manny Aaydel says:

    @Oga Beegs, incisive input on expansion necessities for us in land warfare. I think the top brass should give contributions on this topic an urgent consideration–same as we have given to the NN on account of safeguarding our offshore marine resources. If my memory serves me right, the 82 Composite Div. was supposed to have its own airlift assets (G-222s?) and even trained its own pilots (including former Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar). This shows there was some thinking along the lines you and other CyberGs have suggested. How soon should your ‘stop gap’ measures be for sir, given the unfolding tragedy in Libya and its implications for us down south?

  21. beegeagle says:

    BEEGEAGLE’S BLOG Twitter rendition is underway as we move to reach out to millions via retweets. Join us and play your part as you do. RETWEET


  22. jimmy says:

    I do this with my integrity on the line this in no way supports the pdp or the apc ( small letters mine for emphasis and in following beegeagle’s code of keeping politics out)
    This article is important no very important for all to read please keep the emails for or against JONATHAN OR BUHARI that is not the issue the issue is local manufacture of TANKS, TEARGAS BULLET PROOF VESTS.

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