The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai has stated that activities such as Combat Service Support Training contribute in no small measure towards the actualization of his vision of enhancing professionalism in the Nigerian Army.
Buratai stated this in his address at the Nigerian Army’s 21st Combat Service Support Training Week 2019 which was held in Gusau, Zamfara state.
The Army Chief said the Combat Service Support Training Week is one of the key activities in the Nigerian Army programme, and is held annually due to the important role of the combat service support corps in the provision of effective logistics to the Nigerian Army in all its activities.
“Logistics is vital in any operation, and in the words of Antoine Jomini, “Logistics is the practical art of moving armies”. Indeed, former US President Eisenhower put it succinctly when he said that “You will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics”.
This is in line with the critical importance I place on logistics as a vehicle in driving my vision “to have a professional responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles”.
“As we are all aware, Nigeria is currently faced with a myriad of security challenges ranging from insurgency, herders/farmers clashes, cattle rustling, kidnapping, militancy and a host of other security threats.
“Undeniably too, is the fact that the Nigerian Army and other security agencies have recorded a lot of successes especially in the counter insurgency and counter terrorism efforts in the North East, and in bringing peace and stability to areas in the North Central under the threats of herders and farmers clashes.
“In a similar vein, the massive mobilisation and deployment of troops and resources in the North West states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Kaduna under the current Ex HARBIN KUNAMA III is yielding dividends as many of the criminal elements are either fleeing or ready to surrender and dialogue.
“Let me, therefore, reassure all Nigerians that the Nigerian Army will leave no stone unturned in ensuring a secured environment for law-abiding Nigerians to carry out their lawful activities without any hindrance,” said the COAS.
In the area of logistics, the Number one Infantryman said the Army’s operational commitments demand a high level of logistics support for troops in the field and even their families back in the barracks.
He pointed out that in the past 4 years, the army’s logistics focus has been to ensure proper kiting of troops, provision and improvement of barracks accommodation, provision of operational and administrative vehicles, improvement of equipment support facilities, renovation and rehabilitation of medical facilities as well as improved rations and feeding for troops across all the theatres of operations.
“Unlike in the past, troops now turn out in uniform kits with adequate reserve to sustain our operations. This is not unconnected with the recent upgrade of facilities in all the Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps tailoring factories across the divisions.
“The ongoing interventions in the military hospitals in Lagos and Kaduna are in the process of turning them into first class medical centres while attention is being focussed on other hospitals.
“The improvement of our equipment support facilities especially at the Command Engineering Depot has ensured increased availability of battle winning platforms for our operations.
“The sustenance of our troops in major operations and exercises has been enhanced through the establishment and improved capability of the ST Foods. I recently directed the retraining of B vehicle drivers across the NA and also gave a mandate to train 500 B vehicle drivers to be deployed at short notice for operations,” Buratai said.
In the area of innovations, Buratai said they had to rely on some local industries for sourcing of logistics requirements in direct response to Mr President’s Executive Orders 3
“Some of the industries that we have partnered with Messrs Innosson Motor Company for both operations and administrative vehicles and Proforce Nigeria Limited for the production of the first made in Nigeria Mine Resistant Anti-Ambush Protected vehicle, the PF-ARA 1 which was unveiled on 1 Aug 19 in Abuja.
“Other indigenous industries that we have collaborated with include Nigeria Machine Tools Osogbo in the local production of weapon parts, Zaria Textiles for the production of tentages and NILEST and other cottage factories in the various industrial clusters for provision of boots and other sundry logistics items,” the Army chief explained.
He added:” Our uniform materials and accouterments are now locally sourced from indigenous companies like JoeBest Textiles, Wollen and Synthetic Textile Manufacturing Company and Lodoni Limited. We have recently partnered with the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria at the Central Engineering Depot to manufacture and refurbish operations vehicles. With all these in mind, your choice of the theme for this training week, which is “Developing Local Capacity for Improved Service Delivery in Nigerian Army Operations” is apt and contemporary. I am indeed convinced that we can still expand our partnership to several other reputable local industries across the country for many of our requirements.
The Training Week featured an outdoor exhibition, medical outreach among other activities.