EXERCISE SMALL ARMS: Navy Trains 500 Personnels For Effective Operations


To enhance professionalism and reduce accidents from weapon handling in the force, the Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, has begun a 3-Day Small Arms firing Exercise for 500 Naval Officers.

Declaring the event open at the Nigerian Army firing range at 192 Battalion in Owode, Ogun State, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Admiral Jason Gbassa, said the exercise was in line with the Chief of Naval Staff‘s vision.

The training package aimed at improving officers weapon handling skills and reducing numbers of accidents.

Gbassa began the exercise on Tuesday with an opening shot on kneeling position while officers took turns.

According to FOC, “the Western Naval Command Small Arms Firing Exercise is a yearly event aimed at improving the competence of Nigerian Navy personnel in small arms handling and shooting skills thereby enhancing operational efficiency. The exercise was affected last year due to the outbreak of COVID-19 but hope to organise more training that would build confidence to defend the nation.

“The exercise forms part of individual and group training packages and it has in the past afforded the Navy the opportunity of identifying marksmen for inter-command and inter-Service Competitions”

He said: “this is part of our training package whose objective is to enhance weapon handling skills of our men, their firing skills as well as to reduce incidences of fire accidents and it is part of inculcating discipline in the men.”

He added that it is an activity crafted into the overall package of the Navy and after the small arms firing exercise it would also cover training on higher calibre weapons and gunnery exercises at sea.

Speaking on the selection process, he said 500 men were drawn from all units and the establishment of the Western Naval Command.

This exercise therefore will not be an exception considering the processes you must have passed through right from the point of selection. I therefore enjoin you all to apply yourselves during this exercise” he stated.

“This exercise would not have been possible without GOC 81 Div and 192 Battalion for approving the shooting range and the timely approval of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo for providing the necessary logistics support, leadership and guidance”

“COVID-19 affected organisation of this exercise. Throughout last year we were not able to organise. It is as the entire world is recovering from the incident. For the year 2021, this is the first time we having this small arms firing exercise and it is our hope that going forward into the coming year, we will have more of this exercises,” he said.