Andy Esiet, Calabar
The 13 Brigade Nigerian Army, Calabar, has flagged off Exercise Still Water II at Ikang community in Bakassi local government area of Cross River in an effort to curb kidnapping, militancy, armed robbery, cultism and other criminal activities.
The Commander, 13 Brigade Nigerian Army Calabar, Brig.-Gen. Everest Okoro, who said this on Thursday at the flag off of the exercise stated that during the exercise, troops will plan and conduct operations in both land and riverine environments that are volatile, unpredictable, chaotic and ambiguous in real-time.
He said real-time operations would be used to counter security threats in the state ranging from kidnapping, armed banditry, arms smuggling/proliferation, militancy and cultism among others.
Okoro said, “Exercise Still Water would also serve as an avenue to challenge commanders in their understanding and application of the tactics, techniques and procedures of various scenarios of an internal security environment.
“The exercise will heighten the tempo of operations and ensure no respite for criminals throughout the Area of Responsibility while at the same time ensuring law-abiding citizens enjoy the freedom to go about their legitimate activities.
“This period was carefully selected by the Army Headquarters to checkmate the activities of criminals during the yuletide period and the political activities that have commenced towards the 2023 general elections”.
The Commander who solicited the support of residents of the state towards the success of the exercise, noted that the exercise would also afford the army the opportunity to further cement the existing cordial civil-military cooperation, thereby facilitating civilian support to the military.
He said, “all personnel of all units of the Brigade across the state including those from other security agencies will jointly participate in the exercise which implies comprehensive capacity building.
During the exercise, troops are expected to conduct roadblocks, mobile patrols, riverine patrols, cordon and search, crowd dispersal, guarding of key points and vulnerable points.
“The troops are also expected to conduct escort duties, imposition of curfew, rescue operations and raids to contain and deny criminals freedom of action.
The Brigade will also carry out some civil-military activities in the forms of medical outreach, educational outreach, sinking of boreholes and other activities that will impact positively on the lives of host communities” .
On his part, the state governor, Senator Ben Ayade, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services, Dr Alfred Mboto, commended the Synergy of security agencies in the state and lauded them for their contribution towards peace building and security provision, pledged his administration’s commitment towards the success of the exercise.