The 2014 Nigerian Navy Small Arms Firing Competition took place at the 72 Special Forces Range, Makurdi Benue State on 14 – 17 October 2014. The event was participated by 6 commands including, Naval Headquarters, Western Naval Command, Eastern Naval Command, Central Naval Command, Naval Training Command and Logistics Command.
TA major fleet evaluation exercise code-named Exercise Farauta, a Hausa word for hunting. This Exercise which lasted from 11 – 17 November 2012, is a quest in pursuance of the mandate of the president of Nigeria, to stamp out acts of illegality in the nation’s maritime domain.
The aim of the exercise was to intensify the ongoing naval operations in the Niger Delta region and pay emphasis on Bonny-Akassa-Escravos axis, an area which was notorious for crude oil theft. “The exercise enabled the NN to assess its operational capability with a view to identifying gaps and taking necessary measures to fill such gaps for enhanced operational readiness. The synergy of this effort ensured full mission accomplishment across the threat spectrum with specific emphasis to immediately end all criminal activities in the Niger Delta region.”
A total of eight ships, six gunboats and three helicopters including elements of the Nigerian Army and Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the Nigerian Air Force took part in the exercise.
Speaking on the role of the Nigerian Army (NA) in the exercise, the Commander, 2 Brigade Port Harcourt, Brig-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said they were geared to launch assault against any acts of illegality. He said: “We are on board the ship as standby troops in case of any emergency. Per adventure we are required to, we will assault any illegal refinery or any criminal hideout discovered during the operation.” Also, the Command Operations Officer, Mobility Command of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Yenogoa, Bayelsa State, Air Commodore Joseph Adeleke, said the responsibility of NAF was purely surveillance-inclined. He said: “Our job is to carry out surveillance and give the navy feedback. We give them grid reference on the location of ships and then they will deploy their ships to that particular location.”
The ships involved were Nigerian Naval Ships (NNS) THUNDER, ZARIA, ANDONI, MAKURDI, BURUTU, OBULA, NWAMBA and KYANWA. Others are six gunboats, Augusta Helicopter 07, Augusta Helicopter 08, Augusta 08 and one Nigerian Air Force Maritime Patrol aircraft.
The Western Naval Command and Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy also conducted similar Exercises code-named EXERCISE ICHUNTA and EXERCISE NDIKARA respectively as a follow up to EXERCISE FARAUTA.