Oil theft: Army begins amphibious training of troops in N’Delta

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The 6 Division of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt, has has began a two-day combat swimming contest for soldiers within its formations and units under the division.

The competition is part of the army’s 2024 training programme aimed at enhancing the swimming proficiencies of soldiers engaged in illegal bunkering and other amphibious operations within the creeks of the Niger Delta.

Maj.-Gen. Jamaal Abdussalam, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) the division, at the opening on Tuesday that the soldiers would compete in conventional and combat swimming events.

He said that the army opted to organise an annual swimming training for troops after some soldiers drowned during amphibious operations.

“The soldiers drowned due to their lack of swimming skills, hence emphasising the importance of swimming as a focal point training aspect in the 6 Division.

“We intend to train as much soldiers as we can in the art of swimming throughout the year.

“This training aligns with the Chief of Army Staff’s command philosophy of having well-trained and well-equipped soldiers, ready for action when issues arise,” he said.

Abdussalam highlighted the evolution of soldering over the years following rising emerging security threats in Nigeria and globally.

“The dynamism and ever-evolving landscape of modern warfare has made it crucial for troops to possess the capability to navigate and thrive in riverine environments.

“As the guardians of Nigeria’s most vital assets in the South South region, we are tasked to secure our national infrastructures and ensure the seamless flow of strategic operations.

“Whether it is the swift crossing of raging rivers, rescuing of distressed comrades, or executing amphibious assaults, soldiers’ mastery of water-related skills will enhance our operations,” he emphasised.

The GOC urged participants to exhibit their best performance and imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play throughout the competition.

Brig.-Gen. Eddie Effiong, the Commander of 6 Division Garrison, said that 67 soldiers, comprising 55 males and 12 females from various formations and units under the division would participate in the exercise.

“These are 2 Brigade in Uyo, 6 Division Garrison in Port Harcourt, 16 Brigade in Yenagoa, and 63 Brigade in Asaba, Delta.

“The swimmers will showcase their skills in various swimming techniques like 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly, 50m freestyle and 50m breaststroke, among others.

“Although this is a competition, its primary goal is to enable troops to hone their skills and knowledge of water, he said. (NAN)

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