The Adjutant-General of the Califonia National Guard, Major General David Baldwin has disclosed that the Califonia military command is ready to upscale the partnership and cordial relations it has been enjoying with the Nigerian Army since inception in 2008 with its preparedness to help bring the operationalization of Nigerian Army Aviation to fruition.
Speaking when he led a delegation of officers from Califonia on a courtesy visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Faruk Yahaya at Army headquarters on Tuesday, Gen Baldwin expressed surprise that an Army as large as the Nigerian Army has no aviation corps.
He said, “We have enjoyed a cordial working relatiinship with the Nigerian Army since 2008. We are here to continue this relationship. We want to know the areas where you want us to work together and areas where you want the relationship to expand
“There are priority areas I feel we have the capacity and experience to help the NA. One priority area is to help you develop the Nigerian Army Aviation programme. It is almost surprising that an Army as large as Nigeria has no aviation arm.
“At the Califonia National Guard, we have almost 100 aircraft, an Aviation Brigade and two Aviation Battalion’s of military aircraft. So we can help the. Nigerian Army realise its dreams of establishing an aviation arm and it will help you in your insurgency fight”.
“Another priority area is the area of training on Counter-IEDs, how to employ technical capabilities and equipment in countering improvised explosives and landmines. The deployment and employment of techniques to counter IEDs in combat operations.
“We are also prepared to provide advanced training to personnel of the NA of night fighting techniques as well as provide necessary equipment used for night operations.
Continuing the Adjutant General said the Califonia National Guard was disposed to training Nigerian troops in Cyber Defence Operations and modern logistics capabilities.
While noting that the Califonia National Guard has put in place a mobile Infantry Brigade Combat Team ready for deployment to assist friendly partners, Gen Baldwin said an important aspect of its military training was the area of NCO (Non Commissioned Officer’s) training aim at developing the soldiers in modern and different arts of combat.
Responding, the COAS, Lt. Gen Faruk Yahaya commended the existing partnership saying, “We are looking forward to the relatiinship further expanding in areas of mutual benefit.
“These ares which you highlighted are the Nigerian Army Aviation, building capacity in tackling IED threats which has affect our operations in the theatre. We are also looking forward to your support with the training in Cyber Defence technology because this is an aspect that is giving us concern.
“The area of night training is very essential so that we can deal with the terrorists and the bandits who take advantage of the cover of darkness.
“The NCO development programme which you mentioned is very interesting to me. Issues of training and welfare of the NCOs are a priority for us. So we are looking forward to your sylupport in that area.
Present at the occasion were the Chief of Poliy and Plans, Major General AB Omozojie, Chief of Training, Major Gen Ibrahim, Chief of Operations, Major General OT Akinjobi, Chief of Logistics, Maj Gen OA Akintade, Provost Marshal, Nigerian Army,Major Gen Ayenigbe, Acting Chief of Military Intelligence,Brig Gen Salisu and Director, Army Public Relations,
Also present was Ngeria’s Defence Adviser to Washington, Air Commodore Usman and Deputy Director at Defence Intelligence Agency, Brig Gen Otaru