By Henry Oladele and Dupe Oremule
The Nigerian Army in Lagos on Monday conducted Exercise Crocodile Smile 4 training for military and para-military personnel, to achieve operational readiness.
Declaring open the one-day training at the 9Brigade Officers Mess, Ikeja, the Flag Officer Commanding, (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Adm. Oladele Daji, said that the exercise would cover land and water.
Daji, who was special guest of honour, said that most criminal activities were planned and executed both on land and at sea.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training, with the theme, “Interagency Cooperation: Imperatives for Efficient Joint Operations”, is coming ahead of Exercise Crocodile Smile 4, which will take place from Nov. 8 to Dec. 23.
Daji said: “The exercise will cover both land and water channels, especially the creeks.
The exercise has two basic objectives, which are the training and operational objectives.
“The training objective is to avail commanders and staff officers in the art of military decision making process, staff liaison and conduct of riverine operations.
“It will also avail troops on combat responsibilities in internal security operations and promote efficient joint operations in 81 Division Area of Responsibility (AOR).”
Daji said that the exercise would feature aspects of Civil-Military cooperation, Media, Psychological operations, Rules of Engagement and the observance of International Humanitarian Law in the conduct of joint operations.
“Let me also stress here that the exercise will be supported by the Navy, Air force, Police, DSS, and other security agencies in Lagos and Ogun States.
“It is therefore my hope that the strategy of the training and exercise will achieve the theme.
“I hope that it will assist in carrying out the myriad of internal security responsibilities, especially those that concern the protection of lives as well as critical national assets against attacks,” he said.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in his address, said that the exercise would be conducted with sister agencies.
Buratai was represented by the General Officer Commanding, 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Olu Irefin.
“The exercise, which will be concluded with the support of sister services and relevant security agencies, will include civil-military relations activities like medical and educational outreaches.
“This year’s exercise will be conducted across the South-West regions of Lagos and Ogun States.
“Part of the objectives of the exercise is to improve troops and relevant security agencies operational capacity as well as strengthen cooperation and synergy in tackling common security challenges confronting our nation.
“This training day with the theme “Inter-agency Cooperation: Imperative: for Efficient Joint Operations” is therefore apt toward achieving the set goals,” he said
NAN also reports that the army conducted the maiden Operation CROCODILE SMILE I in 2015 within and around the Niger Delta region.
The exercise yielded great successes which include degradation of the activities of militants, destruction of kidnappers’ dens, rescue of kidnapped victims and destruction of cultists’ camps among others.