Operation Still Water: Army begins exercise to end militancy, kidnappings in Cross River

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Nigerian Army of 13 Brigade has commenced a 3-month security operation in Cross River State to stem the tides of militancy, kidnappings, cultism and other crimes.

The flag-off of the operation, which is codenamed Exercise Still Water, was held yesterday at Ikang in Bakassi Local Government Council.

Speaking, Commander of 13 Brigade, Brigadier General Peter Malla said it is a field training exercise designed to give aid to civil authority, where troops will conduct operations in both land and riverine, using the Super Camp Concept.

He said that the exercise would dovetail into real time operations to defeat security threats within its area of operations.

“The real time operations would be used as measure to defeat security threats in the State, ranging from kidnapping, armed banditry, arms smuggling, proliferation, militancy and cultism, to mention a few.

“It would also serve as an avenue to assess commanders at all levels in their understanding and application of the tactics, techniques and procedures of various scenarios of Internal Security operations,” he said.

He added that they will consolidate on the gains of Exercise Crocodile Smile V conducted last year.

According to the Brigade commander, the idea of the exercise is to maintain the tempo and ensure no respite for criminals, and at the same time ensure that law abiding citizens enjoyed the freedom to go about their legitimate activities.

In order for the troops to be proficient at the exercise, he said they will integrate relevant security agencies in the State as a way of consolidating on civil military cooperation.

“The crux of the exercise is to reach a defined and commonly desired State, for the best of the local population, the civil actors, security agencies and the military alike.

“Nigerian Army personnel, including those from other security agencies will jointly participate in the exercise which implies a comprehensive capacity building. The participation of other security agencies will also boost realism and foster inter agency cooperation and inter-operability.

“During the conduct of the exercise, participants are expected to conduct roadblocks, mobile patrols, Riverine patrols, cordon and search, crowd dispersal, VIP Protection, guarding of Key Points and Vulnerable Points, escort duties, imposition of curfew, rescue operations and raids to contain and deny freedom of action for criminals.

“They are also expected to practice continuous troops administration in the field, as well as regular training and rehearsals and coordination for impending operations. The exercise will also entail logistics planning and support from the established Super Camp here in Ikang,” he added.

Malla called on the civilian population not to panic but accord them supports and cooperation, assuring that troops will consider array of factors, including religious, sociopolitical, cultural and humanitarian factors when carrying the operations.

Addressing the dignitaries of security agencies present including Obong of Calabar and other traditional heads, Governor Ben Ayade, represented by Dr Alfred Mboto, Permanent Secretary State security matters, expressed happiness over the exercise.

He assured that his government will accord necessary supports to its success.

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