The Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) has been formally inaugurated as a Centre for Professionalism, training and purposeful leadership for the security sector.
Speaking at the inauguration, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali said that the establishment of the War Colleges for the Army, Navy and Airforce underscores the importance that the federal government places on the improvement and development of its professional military education.
He said, “The Armed Forces of Nigeria has continued to play an important role in the security of the nation. The professional conduct of our military has seen the capabilities of Boko Haram significantly degraded which had before now terrorized and killed innocent citizens as well as seized territories within our country.
“Professionalism, training and purposeful leadership at all levels contributed to this feat. We must therefore continue to train in order to sustain these gains.”
Dan Ali added, “The government will continue to support the Nigerian armed Forces in its quest to continue professionalizing. Already, government is acquiring necessary equipment required by the military to prosecute the war against insurgency in the north east. New platforms are already waiting final clearance from Tin Can Island and very soon they will be inserted into operation Lafiya Dole.
“The procurement of new equipment coupled with good leadership has boosted the morale of troops, which has led to the numerous successes recorded in the fight against terrorism.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai said that time has come for the military, in its battle to rid the Nigerian environment of terrorism and insurgency among other security challenges, to think out of the box and evolve an evolutionary approach to war-fighting
Buratai said the Army War College which witnessed the inauguration of its pioneer set of Course 1/2017 participants in Abuja, was conceptualized to develop the capacities if the Nigerian army officers in operational planning and management as well as the development of basic strategic skills for effective application of land power.
The Army Chief disclosed that having critically assessed the professional military education curriculum and performance of officers in battlefield and theatre of war fight, “it was discovered that there were gaps in the Nigerian Army training especially at operational level.
“It was discovered that there were no Army level courses that supported officers’ capacity building at the operational level and as a consequence, Nigerian Army Officers were not well grounded in operational art.
Consequently he said that, “the end state for participants at the AWC is to develop the critical and creative skills, knowledge and attributes expected of senior leaders at the operational level.
“Most importantly, students would be taught skills to incorporate other sister agencies in the operational joint planning process. This approach will promote joint approach to war-fighting.
Describing the inauguration of Course 1/2017 as the beginning of a new journey in the professional military education in the Nigerian Army, General Buratai said, “Before now, delegations from the Nigerian Army had visited similar colleges in Bangladesh, United Kingdom and United States of America in order to get first-hand information on how such colleges are run”.
With such information, the teams were able to internalize the structure, administrative model and curriculum to suit our peculiar challenges. With the crop of officers in the faculty, I can confidently say that the college is poised to achieve greatness”.
Paying tribute to all officers and soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice while defending the interests of the nation, the COAS said, “With the commencement of studies at the college, we will surely get better at war fighting.
Reiterating the commitment of the Nigerian Army under his leadership to uphold the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, Buratai said, “The Nigerian Army is a professional institution whose loyalty to constituted authority and service to the country is not in doubt
The Commandant of the Army War College, Major General Gafar Okunola in his remarks stated that within the short time of establishment of the college, it has developed a curriculum that takes into cognizance, “our peculiar challenges, gaps and strength.”
He revealed that, “Under the guidance and direction of Army headquarters, we have developed a home-grown programme that we trust will meet the present and future expectations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.”