The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has reiterated the readiness of the Nigerian Army to promote joint planning and operations in addressing security challenges facing the nation.
Yahaya said this at the Second Symposium on “Nigerian Civil War’’, organized by Army War College Nigeria (AWCN), on Tuesday in Abuja.
The symposium with the theme, “Imperative of Logistics: Lessons from the Nigerian Civil War for Operational Leaders”, was organized for participants of AWCN Course 5/2021.
Represented by the Chief of Training (Army), Maj.-Gen. Abdulsalami Ibrahim, Yahaya said the college would be participating in a joint operations planning exercise to be conducted within Naval and Air Force war colleges beginning with course 5.
He said that the move was an indication that the college was conscientiously positioning itself to play a significant role in the attainment of its vision.
“To this extent, let me stress that contemporary war fighting will remain joint and is not likely to change in the foreseeable future.
“Hence, any joint effort directed at preparing operational level officers to be aligned to this reality is commendable.
“I have no doubt in my mind that on successful completion of this training, you would be better able to appreciate the complexity of the contemporary security environment.
“It is expected, therefore, that you should have been well equipped to proffer workable solutions to multi-faceted security problems of the 21st century.
“In doing so, you must not forget that contemporary threats succumb only to multi-disciplinary security approach that embodies efforts from different specialized agencies.
“I, therefore, urge you to set your pace on the principles and imperatives of ‘jointness’ as symbolized by this symposium,” he said.
Yahaya said that the theme of the symposium was apt, given the importance of logistics in the prosecution of war, especially in procurement of weapons and ammunition as well as sourcing of equipment and material required.
According to him, logistics support is vital for any military operation without which the operations could not be carried out and sustained.
He commended the college for the progress made so far, saying that at the end of course 5, the college would have trained 294 officers within a period of four years.
The Commandant of the college, Maj.-Gen. Solomon Udounwa, said the course had 63 participants drawn from the Nigerian Army, Navy, and Air Force, as well as other security agencies.
Odounwa also said that personnel from allied countries – Niger, Liberia, Togo, and Democratic Republic of Congo, participated in the course.
He said the symposium was conceptualized as part of the academic curriculum of the war course and part of the military history module to enhance the operational capability of the participants.
According to him, the essence is to study and teach the operational activities of the war for better understanding of the battlefield events toward combating threats to national security.
“While the maiden edition focused on the Calabar landing by the third marine commando during the events of 1967 and 1968 respectively, today’s event will examine the conduct of logistics during the war,” he said.
Prof. Shedrack Best, the guest lecturer, noted that logistics was the lifeblood of military power in every war and armed confrontation.
Best said that logistics concern military needs and supply chain to the battlefield and to the war objectives which drives and sustain the troops.
He added that logistics allowed the military to focus on its professional assignment and enhances the overall capacity to deliver on the objectives of war.
According to him, it is responsible for either the troops’ motivation or their morale wellbeing and for battle efficiency.
“Logistics is an important and critical part of any military operation because the size of logistics impact greatly on the war,” he said.
Best noted that the challenges of logistics had serious impact on the ongoing military campaigns against insurgency in the North-East and banditry in the North-West, among other operations.
He said that the military must be able to move troops in and out of the battlefronts, give them food, as well as medical services and funds for their welfare.