May 25, 2024

Training critical to military’s operational readiness – Defence Chief

Training critical to military’s operational readiness – Defence Chief

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, says sporting activities help to sharpen the physical fitness, mental alertness, and skills of military personnel to ensure combat readiness.

Musa said this on Friday in Abuja at the Inter-Command Combat Sports Competition organised by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) as part of the activities to commemorate its 60th anniversary.

He said the security challenges confronting the nation had made the armed forces continue to evolve joint training with emphasis on physical training and sports.

He said the sportsmanship exhibited during the keenly contested activities gave credence to the premium placed on sports by the armed forces towards enhancing the combat readiness of personnel.

“It is my belief, therefore, that the continuity and sustainability of this level of training and competition, coupled with the equipping of the armed forces, the armed forces will develop the required capacity to overcome these challenges.

“The Nigerian Air Force no doubt places a high premium on sporting activities through the annual ten-kilometer walk, route matches, annual fitness test programme, and the just concluded combat sports.

“This effort certainly underscored the value the service has given to the physical and mental health of its personnel.

“I encourage you to sustain your drive for personal development, taking cognizance of the fact that human capital remains the most critical component of any organisation, as many studies have shown,” he said.

The CDS congratulated the participants for their display of resilience and spirit of sportsmanship.

He added that the personnel that participated in the combat sports exhibited sacrifice, discipline, self-control, team spirit, tenacity, physical and moral courage, as well as the zeal to win.

According to him, these are the same values that are needed to navigate the armed forces and wider society through tough and difficult times.

“As Nigeria passes through this defining moment in its history, our armed forces is required more often than ever before to deliver on its constitutional mandate of securing our dear country.

“I enjoy you all, therefore, to sustain and improve upon the ideals which you have displayed this evening,” he added.

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, said having sound physical and mental health was imperative for the armed forces in discharging their constitutional responsibilities.

Abubakar said active participation in sports enabled the personnel to keep physically fit while providing a much-needed outlet to cope with the rigours of military duty.

He added that sports provided a basis for the teamwork needed for troops to function with the necessary cohesion during peacetime military engagements and combat operations.

“As we all know, warfare is a gruelling experience, and the ability to advance long distances with full combat gear through rugged terrain and to fight effectively requires strength, agility, and stamina from troops.

“This can only be conditioned through combat sports and rigorous physical fitness training.

“Hence, active participation in combat sports helps to provide both physiological and psychological benefits that reduce stress, illness and injuries, especially during operations.

“Accordingly, physical fitness and mental alertness of personnel have become key considerations for the armed forces to meet the increasing demands of current and emerging threats,” he said.

The CAS said NAF had continued to prioritise the participation of its personnel in sporting activities to enhance the standard and quality of sports and sporting facilities in bases to improve the overall health, well-being, and morale of personnel.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the sporting event comprised combat sports, relay races, casualty evacuation race, tug of war, archery, and invitation races, amongst others.

The various NAF Commands, such as Tactical Air Command, Ground Training Command, Air Training Command, Special Operations Command, Logistics Command, Mobility Command, and NAF Headquarters teams, competed.

While the NAF Headquarters emerged as the overall winner, the Ground Training Command came in second, and the Logistics Command came third. (NAN)