Exercise Sky Lock: CDS, Gen Irabor Launches JOPEX on National Security, Inter-Agency & Stabilization Operations.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor on Monday flagged off Exercise Sky Lock which is a joint operation planning exercise (JOPEX) for the participants of the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN), Naval War College Nigeria (NWCN) and Air Force War College Nigeria (AWCN) at the Army War College, Abuja with a disclosure that the exercise was built around contemporary, realistic, and real-time security events in Nigeria.

The CDS said also that the exercise marked the culmination of several moments of significant efforts towards developing the skills of participants of the three colleges in operational arts, operational design and decision making process amongst others.

Noting that the exercise is certainly another milestone in the professional military education and profile of the Nigerian military in its quest to properly equip its officers for present and future assignments, Hen Irabor said, “It would also provide forum for the participants who are being trained as operational commanders and staff to practice planning, preparation and conduct of these aspects under different scenarios.

He continued, “The one- week exercise will draw umpires, observers and visitors from the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Paramilitary, and international military assistance partners, among others.

“As think tanks of the armed forces of Nigeria, our war colleges are indeed laboratories and incubation centres for the production of military operational level plans as well as measurement of performance and effectiveness of subsisting plans with a view to reviewing them for enhanced effectiveness.

“ To this end, the product of this joint operations planning exercise will form part of the military decision making cycle for some ongoing and future operations.

“This further underscores the significance of this science and the resources committed to each actualisation.

“Today’s event therefore provides an opportunity to kick start an enduring tradition for the colleges that will enshrine joint planning culture at the military operational leadership level.

“This culture is indeed essential to the development of the operational level capacity towards tackling the multifarious contemporary security challenges and engagements in future military operations,” he said.

Irabor further stated that complex 21st century security environment holds huge implications not only for the military but also for all sectors of governance and society.

“The contemporary security environment weaves through all levels of organisational decision making systems that cut across international and cultural boundaries.

“It is gratifying therefore to observe the diverse of array of participants for the military and other security agencies as well as foreign military officers that will be participating in the exercise.

“Against this backdrop, I am convinced that the knowledge skills and capacities you the participant have acquired, particularly in the operational art will enhance your professional judgment in the joint operational environment and will remain an indelible resource for your problem solving and decision making loops.

“Considering this, you will be doing yourselves and Nigeria a lot of good by consistently holding your acquired skills through continuous learning.

“It is also important that I expressed that you will need to keep an open mind and venture into calculated risk as all these will be key to effective functioning and the contemporary complex security environment.

“One vital area we expect such open mindedness is in proffering innovative and workable solutions to the myriad of security challenges facing the nation such as that in the northeast and other regions affected by insecurity in our land.

“Today, military is presently engaged in internal security operations in all the 36 states of our nation as well as the FCT.

“This has put a strain on our available resources committed to the ongoing counterterrorism and counter insurgency operations in the North East.

“It is my opinion therefore that our war colleges come in handy at this moment in developing plans and strategies that will enable the optimisation of available resources towards achieving our national military objectives.

“This is therefore a clarion call to our war colleges to sustain the ideals of joint operations planning exercises such as this towards institutionalising synergy evidenced by a culture of joint planning, training and collective effort in security operations.

The exercise nicknamed Exercise Sky Lock is the maiden edition to be organized by the DHQ for the 3 Services War Colleges at the instance of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor.

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