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Post War Developmens tIn The Nigerian Armed Forces

Posted by on 10/27/2002 2:50:26 PM | Views: 780 |

Post War Developmens tIn The Nigerian Armed Forces

The main thrust of developments in the armed forces from the end of the Civil War has centred on what to do with excess manpower occasioned by the massive recruitment drive that had taken place during the war years. The major focus has been to demobilise a majority of the army in particular, retrain what was left, provide adequate education and basic skills, provide adequate infrastructure and reequip the armed forces with more mocfem weaponry. To this end, the armed forces has under gone general restructuring in terms of personnel, equipment and other facilities as well as location. It is gradually being pruned and developed into an efficient and highly mobile strike force which, it is envisaged, will be able to carry out its traditional role of protecting the territorial integrity of the nation.

At the end of the Civil War, the three divisions of the army were reorganised into four divisions, with each controlling territories running from North to South in order to deemphasise the former regional structure. Each division thus had access to the sea thereby making triservice cooperation and logistic support easier. This deployment for mula was later abandoned in favour of the present assignment of sectors to the divisions. Thus 1 Division with HQ at Kaduna is allocated the North West sector; 2 Division with HQ at lbadan South West sector, 3 Division with HQ at Jos North East sector and 82 Division with HQ at Enugu South East sector. The first two divisions are mechanised, the third armoured, and the fourth a composite divi sion.

Over the years, the army has undergone significant changes in terms of education, aquisition of special skills, the Order of Battle (ORBAT) training and doctrine, as well as acquisition of weapons and their delivery systems. This change has taken into cognisance the new awareness and appraisal of the potential threats (internal and external) to the nation, especially from foreign powers which could use African surrogates to attack Nigeria.

With the Civil War ended, efforts were made to build up the navy and to procure the necessary war ships to enable it fulfil its roles in the defence of the nation. With about 800 square nautical miles of area to patrol and bearing in mind that offshore oil contributes a very large proportion of the nation's foreign exchange earnings, the navy's task could be said to be truly an arduous one. The navy has therefore been organised into three commands namely; Western Naval Command and the Flotilla Command both headquartered at Apapa, and the Eastern Naval Command with Headquarters in Calabar. However, this structure was chamged in the 1980s with thedisbandment at the Flotilla Cornrnand while Eastern and Western fleets emerged as the fighting units under the Eastern and Western Commands respectively. The most significant developments in the navy since the end of the war are the establishment of the naval dockyard in Lagos; the establishment of various training schools; and increased professionalism through specialist train ing courses.

The airforce, after the civil war, quickly took to stock and embarked on wide ranging restructuring. Several changes in the command structure culmi nated in the following: Tactical Air Command, Training Command and the Support Command. In addition to these three main branches, Operations, Administration, Logistic and Inspection, were created in 1990. The airforce has also established sev It eral specialised training schools locally while new aircrafts and weapons have been acquired. This has led to active participation in operations within and outside Nigeria, especially air support of the various peacekeeping operations.

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