The Nigerian Airforce (NAF) has flagged off an exercise to master Shooting and Small Arms Range Classification for 3037 airmen and airwomen in Lagos.
Air Officer Commanding, Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal, (AVM) Emmanuel Shobande stated that the exercise would help officers perfect their shooting skills.
Shobande disclosed this at the 2022 HQ Logistics Command Small Arms Range Classification Exercise taking place at the 81 Division Shooting Range Owode.
“Marksmanship is an important skill for every military personnel. History teaches us two deep and important lessons about marksmanship, the first is that it is an acquired skill only developed through practice and training.”
“The second is that the battlefield is an unforgiving environment; thus proficiency in weapon handling cannot be discountenanced as one of the essential qualities for survival in real combat. For this reason, all NAF personnel undergo rigorous and frequent training to help them become proficient marksmen.” He said.
He posited that mastering the use of weapons also instill in officers the confidence for combat readiness and such high level of readiness is needed at all times as NAF conducts single and joint operations to battle insurgency and other pockets of insecurity in the country.
During the training, our correspondent observed that the officers fired shots from 5 meters, 10 meters and 15 meters using pistols while long range shots were also practiced from 200 meters and the exercise will continue until October 18th, 2022.
“The officers will be afforded deliberate shooting opportunities to prove their skills. This is because of the varieties of firing positions and weapon types which each participant will be exercised. Additionally, the planned inter-unit shooting competition to end the exercise will further project professionalism and efficiency in line with global best practices in small arms classification,” Shobande added.
Noting that the expected training outcome of the exercise is that the lessons learnt would be rewarding in the field, the AVM encouraged every participant to take advantage of the unique opportunity to enhance their weapon handling proficiency and knowledge.
He equally advised instructors not to compromise any aspect of the training requirements in order not to erode objectives of the exercise with attendant negative consequences on NAF operational efficiency.
AVM Shobande appreciated the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, Distinguished Flying Star, for his visionary leadership and approval for the exercise which is in tandem with purposeful training and human capacity Dmdevelopment in support of NAF operations.
He, however, pleaded with all residents around the Shooting Range area and its environs not to panic on hearing the sounds of the weapons as the exercise is not meant to cause panic or harm anybody.