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BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY

What could be regarded as the nucleus of the NA started in 1863 when the Imperial Governor of Lagos, Lt Glover of the Royal Navy gathered 18 Northern Nigerians to mount punitive expeditions to protect British trade routes around Lagos exness.

This small force metamorphosed into the Hausa Constabulary and later formed part of the West African Frontier Force (WAFF). The visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Nigerian in a 1956 led to the renaming of the Northern and Southern Regiments to the Queen’s Own Nigerian Regiment (QONR). When later in that same year, Britain granted military autonomy to her dependencies, the QONR was re-designated the Nigerian Military Force (NMF), and at independence in 1960, the name changed to the Royal Nigerian Army. The present designation, Nigerian Army (NA), came into use when Nigeria assumed a Republic status in 1963.

Even after Nigeria had become a Republic, the Nigerian Military was still structured to implement British oriented doctrines. Though small and mainly used for ceremonial duties, after independence, the NA was nonetheless a disciplined force. The coups-de-tat and counter coups of 1966 which culminated into the Nigerian Civil War, led the military to politics exness thailand.

The NA has continued to expand in response to its mandate, growing from a force of six battalions before the Civil War to five divisions. Training has continued to improve from the simple to the complex both in content and methodology. There are now indigenous training institutions including 17 Corps Schools. The roles of the NA have also fundamentally changed from protection of trade routes to national defence and fulfillment of international obligations in furtherance of national objectives.

CONSITITUTIONAL ROLES OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY

The roles of a country’s Armed Forces are entrenched in her Constitution exness th. The defence of the territorial integrity and other core interests of the nation form the major substance of such roles. Section 217 of the Nigerian Constitution (1999) specifies Nigerian Armed Forces roles to include;
Defend Nigeria from external aggression.
Maintain its territorial integrity and secure its borders from violation by land, sea or air.
Suppress insurrection and act in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly
Perform such other functions as may be prescribed by an act of the National Assembly.


NIGERIA’S DEFENCE POLICY

A Defence organization seeks to provide appropriate capabilities to deal with anticipated risks and threats to the nation. The application and employment of the armed forces of a nation are usually specified in her defence policy. Nigeria’s Defence Policy focuses
on the following objectives.
a. Preservation and protection of our core values.
b. The development of credible defence strategy to deal with internal and external threats in furtherance of our fundamental national goals.
c. Strengthening of our national character by eliminating social vices.
d. Protection of human values, social justice, individual liberty and freedom.
e. Effective policy coordination and management of national emergencies using national resources and implementation of plans to deal with unforeseen national calamities.
f. Collective security within the sub-region.
g. Assistance to the UN and other sub-regional and regional peacekeeping/peace enforcement operations.

It is based on these objectives that the NA is task organized to meet the laid down requirements in accordance with the assigned mission.


ORGANIZATION OF THE NA

The NA is organized as follows:

a. Office of the Chief of Army Staff. The Office of the COAS is at the apex of the NA structure. The Army exists under its command to train and fight all forms of aggression.

b. Department of Army Policy and Plans. The Department of Army Policy and Plans (DAPP) is at the centre of the General Staff activities of the Army Headquarters. DAPP is both the “Think tank “ and the coordinator of all AHQ principal staff branches. At the Head of the branch is the Chief of Policy and Plans (Army) COPP (A).

c. Department of Army Operations. The Department of Army Operations (DAOPs) is the hub on which all operations and all training activities of NA revolve. It is responsible for the planning of training and directing of military operations by continuous assessment and evaluation of possible threat areas in context of the overall national defence policy. The branch is headed by the Chief of Operations (Army) COPs (A).

d. Department of Army Administration. The Administrative Department deals with the administration, welfare, discipline , employment, and development of all human resources in the NA. It also controls some minor directorates and units. The executive head of the branch is the Chief of Administration (Army) COA (A).

e. Department of Army Logistics. The Department of Logistics is responsible for all NA Logistics matters. It also supervises all quartering services in the NA. The Chief of Logistics (Army) COLOG (A) heads the Logistics branch.

f. Department of Army Standards and Evaluation. The Department of Army standard and Evaluation. (DASE) is the newest staff branch of the AHQ. The Department is responsible for making impartial and objective inquiries into the combat readiness, discipline, efficiency, economy, morale, training and safety measures throughout the NA. The Chief of Army Standards and Evaluation (CASE) heads the branch.

g. Departments of Military Secretary (Army). The Military Secretary’s Department is responsible for commissions, promotions, conversions, appointments, inter-corps transfer, extension of service and retirements in accordance with the terms and conditions of Service (TACOS) for the NA officers as may be directed by the COAS or Army Council. At the head of the branch is the Military Secretary (Army) MS (A).

h. Army Headquarters Garrison. The Army Headquarters Garrison (AHQ GAR) is responsible for the overall administration of AHQ and its Directorates in the Federal Capital Territory and Lagos area. It also coordinates all AHQ training activities.

i. Training and Doctrine Command. The NA Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is responsible for conducting research into manpower development and using training institutions to satisfy vital educational and training needs of the NA.


COMBAT ARMS

The Combat Arms of the NA comprise the infantry and the armour. It is organized into three infantry-heavy divisions with headquarters in Kaduna, Ibadan, and Lagos. A composite division with headquarters in Enugu and an armour-heavy division with its headquarters in Jos. The Brigade of Guards in Abuja is charged with the responsibilities of providing security for the Presidency, ceremonial duties and security of the Federal Capital Territory.
The organization of NA Divisions took cognizance of the threat analysis and each division has been tasked to meet specifically identified/perceived threat areas. The task organizations of the divisions are such that they can react to threats not exceeding an identified minimum unit expected of the divisions.

Each of the five fighting divisions of the NA less 81 Div has two brigades with affiliated brigade and equipped in accordance with the terrain in which they are expected to operate. Their equipment ranges from medium and light armored vehicles, self-propelled artillery guns and ground to air missiles delivery systems. The organizational structure therefore, ensures that the NA can react promptly either in an offensive or defensive situation without losing its efficiency level.


COMBAT SUPPORT ARMS

The NA Divisions are supported by Combat Support Arms namely; artillery, engineers and signals. The type of support they provide and the sizes of the supported formation determine the size and composition of each support arm.

Artillery. The NA Artillery is divided into field and air defence artillery based on the roles they perform. The artillery acquires targets, coordinates all fire power resources available and delivers such firepower in the battlefield so that the enemy can neither interfere with our operations from air and ground nor develop its own resources effectively.

Combat Engineers. The roles of the NA Combat Engineers are to help the NA to live, move and fight whilst doing everything possible to hinder the movement of the enemy. The Combat Engineers are generally task organized to support the field formations they provide combat support for field Commander’s tactical plan. When not so employed, they undertake construction task throughout the the theatre of operations.

SIGNALS. The NA Signal provides good, reliable and secure
Combat communication, which are very essential in the field for
effective command. Control and intelligence of the battle. Their relevance has become even more significant with the need for
Spectrum dominance in modern battlefield.

COMBAT SUPPORT SERVICES

The five fighting divisions of the NA are maintained both in Peace and wartime by the Combat Support Services. The Combat Support Services includes:

Supply and Transport. The NA Corps of Supply and Transport (NACST) is tasked to provide transport support and combat supplies for the NA. The Corps also provides catering services for the Army. As part of the transport support, the NACST provides boat services in areas where the Nigerian Navy (NN) cannot operate. It also provides fire-fighting services for the Army.

NA Medical Corps. The NA Medical Corps (NAMC) is responsible for providing good health care delivery system for the NA in peace and wartime. The NAMC is essentially responsible for the prompt evacuation of the wounded and sick personnel and for the sustenance of good health and high morale amongst the troops.

NA Ordnance Corps. The NA ordnance Corps (NAOC) has the responsibilities for the supply of materiel, which are ordnance stores, ammunition and vehicles, repair and modification of general stores and equipment. It also provides specialist services such as printing. Laundry and the savage of metal and stores amongst others.

Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. The NA Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (NAEME) is responsible for the inspection, recovery, repair and modification of all equipment in Service.

 
 
 
 
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