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82 Composite Division

82 Composite Division
82 Composite Division
The outbreak of civil hostilities in Nigeria in 1967 necessitated the creation of additional divisions of the nation's army. At the heat of the battle, a unique army division was formed, and was given a name that was synonymous to its terrain of operation. The 3rd Marine Commando "Division" was a regular army formation, assembled during the civil war, with some amphibious capabilities as part of their remit.

By one account the composite division comprised one Amphibious Brigade, one Motorised Brigade, one Paratroop Battalion with their combat support services elements. While 13 Motorised Brigade is authoritatively attested as of 1999, by the year 2010 the unit is authoritatively attested as 13 Amphibious Brigade. By the year 2010 the 93 Amphibious Battalion is authoritatively attested, without Brigade affiliation identified, while no such unit was attested in 1999. Orbat.com reports an Airborne Battalion [72 Parachute Battalion], but no such unit was attested as of 1999.

245 Recce Battalion
7 Amphibious Battalion
93 Amphibious Battalion
146 Amphibious Battalion
2 Amphibious Brigade
1 Amphibious Battalion
20 Amphibious Battalion
41 Motorised Battalion
13 Motorised Brigade
4 Motorised Battalion
103 Motorised Battalion
35 Amphibious Battalion
34 Field Artillery Brigade
341 Field Artillery Regiment
342 Field Artillery Regiment
343 Air Defence Regiment
engineer brigade ?
Headquarters 82 Division Nigerian Army is located in Enugu. It was established in 1975. It is charged with the responsibility of securing its Area of Responsibility (AOR) covering the South Eastern and South Southern flanks of Nigeria and also ensuring that the borders located in its AOR are secured. The division is a composite division with affiliated combat support and combat service support units.

The Army perception is that the real threat within the countrys terrain are areas which are neither accessible to conventional troops nor penetrable by naval ships or craft. Amphibious operation is a means of projecting sea power ashore as it provides the key (sometimes the only key) to unlock stalemate and return maneuver warfare on land. Amphibious operation is the delivery of force of arms, tactically grouped for combat ashore, in a hostile or potentially hostile situation.

Amphibious Operation is an attack launched from the sea by naval and landing forces embarked in ships or craft involving a landing on a hostile shore. A successful amphibious operation requires a specially trained land force, integrated naval and landing forces, a good command and control structure, adequate ship to shore communication, effective air power, suitable crafts and amphibious ships.

The 82 Division of the Nigerian Army (NA) is a composite division made up 13 Brigade in Calabar, and 2 Brigade located in Port Harcourt, which provides security for oil installation in Niger Delta area. The 2 Brigade and 20 battalion are basically equipped for anti-terrorist activities. These units would however rely on the NN for sealift during operations in the maritime environment. The 82 Division of the NA is not adequately equipped to contribute to the security of Nigeria's maritime resources. Its manpower is adequate but not skilled enough to adequately maintain the maritime platform in its inventory.

The immediate concern of the NA is to attain 80% overall readiness level and to have one brigade group fully prepared as part of a Task Force (TF). This is very evident from the briefing and data available from 82 Div NA. The essence is to assure rapid deployment and response capabilities in order to protect Nigeria's porous borders and assist the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) in overcoming problems of internal security.

Development of training capabilities was part of a much larger program to reorganize and modernize the NA aimed at creating an amphibious, airborne and airmobile brigades which were to form a composite division. It was in the light of these that the Nigerian Government initiated in January 1981 a request to the United States Government to give expert advice on the special warfare training for the NA.

The NA in its attempt to improve its capability in joint operations established the Amphibious Training School (NAATS) at Calabar in 1986. Actual Amphibious training commenced in 1986 after the United States Government dispatched a 10 man Mobile Training Team (USMTT) that started the pilot training program. Validation Teams decision not to go into full amphibious training were that the requirement for a ship to shore capability was not considered valid at that time because the NN did not possess the amphibious ships necessary to support ship to shore operation nor did the NA have the open water vessels necessary to transport troops and equipment to shore.20 Also the capability. The course contents focus mainly on riverine operations. Apart from one course which theoretically exposes the students to the rudiments of amphibious operation, no other course focused on real amphibious operation.

However, in spite of the existence of NAATS, the inadequacies have persisted. For example, in 1996 in Bakassi, one of the patrol boats belonging to the OPERATION HARMONY Joint Task Force (JTF) capsized and all the soldiers got drowned. Some of them could have survived if they had been given watermanship skill or the Air and Naval components were on ground for search and rescue mission.

Even though the NA has a large number of trained amphibious personnel, they were not concentrated in the amphibious formations and units. The only attempt made was during the peak of the Warri crisis in November 2002 when AHQ directed that all trained amphibians were to be posted to 7 Amphibious Battalion. However, out of the 4,257 trained amphibious personnel, the NA could only muster 51 including officers and soldiers.

OPERATION SEA DOG in 1985 was the first attempt at exercising the Nigerian Armed Forces aimed at identifying their strength and weaknesses in joint operations exercises (JOPEX). The main aim of OPERATION SEA DOG was to exercise troops in scenario where they could employ amphibious landing tactics to recover a territory occupied by a hostile force. The ability of the NN to land troops at the beach was vital to OPERATION SEA DOG. The forces involved were composed in such a way as to create a worthwhile and realistic joint training exercise for the Nigerian Armed Forces. However, lack of interoperability and compatibility of equipment of the 3 Services affected the exercise. The abysmal performance in OPERATION SEA DOG were attributed partly to inadequate training for joint operations. The report of the exercise revealed that there was poor logistics support due to the inability of NAF aircraft to carry bulky NA equipment to the operation area. Another problem encountered during the exercise include the inability of the Army, Navy and the Air Force to communicate among themselves.

Similarly in Liberia during the ECOMOG operations, the NA could not integrate fully with NN. The problems encountered by the 2 Services was the delayed movement into Liberia from Sierra Leone as a result of malfunction of the loading ramp on the LST. Even when the ramp was repaired through combined efforts of the NN and NA Engineers, the problem re-occurred on landing at Freeport Monrovia. Also the armaments carried by the LST were not functional. This had impacted negatively on the confidence and high morale of the NA troops. The reason for these problems were attributed to lack of training for joint operations by the NA and NN before induction into the operation in Liberia.

Operation TAKUTE EKPE (Lion Trap) was held 10-15 May 2004 off the Eleko-Iberekodo-Akode Owode road, in the South Eastern part of the economic capital city of Lagos. The conduct of the exercise was fraught with similar problems encountered during SEA DOG, but the experience was worse. The five-day exercise exercise, which was last done 18 years earlier under the code name "Operation Seadog" at Oron in Cross River, was a military exercise designed to practice a Brigade with corresponding Nigerian Navy and Air Force Task Groups in conventional warfare, amphibious and internal security. It became imperative because the armed forces involvement in peace keeping operations have exposed some inadequacies in the military.

The choice of Eleko-Iberekodo-Akode Owode as the "battle front" between two fictitious countries of Franco-phone Democratic Republic of Pedara (DRP) and Anglo-phone Federal Republic of Kumanda was to enable the three Services operate jointly in an amphibious training exercise which will have President Olusegun Obasanjo in attendance on the 12th while other dignitaries were expected to arrive on the 13th.

Operation TAKUTE EKPE was a one-sided field training exercise with a controlled enemy, designed to practice a brigade with corresponding NN and NAF task groups in conventional and amphibious warfare as well as internal security operations. It was also to test the compatibility and inter-operability of the tri-Service platforms and equipment of the Armed Forces.

Inadequate logistic planning impaired the conduct of Operation TAKUTE EKPE. Despite the plans made, a series of communications problems were experienced during the exercise. There were difficulties in establishing radio communications between NNS AMBE, the ship that was to beach land the troops and other participating forces. The planning did not take cognizance of the different systems in use by the 3 Services and there was no pre-exercise communication interoperability rehearsal. The resultant effect of this was the inability of the 3 Services to operate together effectively. These caused the unsuccessful execution of the exercise.

TAKUTE EKPE was aborted at the last minute because NNS AMBE, the main amphibious ship, failed to arrive at the designated landing site at the scheduled time ostensibly due to defects. On that occasion, NN operational efficiency suffered due to no ship availability. The NN landing ship that was to land troops in the theater of operation never got there until after the exercise had been deactivated because the state of the ship was not considered in the planning of the exercise. The NN ship was unserviceable and yet it was earmarked for the exercise. This was a typical example of an exercise marred by poor logistic planning and lack of coordination due to the absence of a joint logistics system.

Operation OLOGUN META (Yoruba words for Three Warriors) involved beach landing operations, harbor defense, riverine operations and insertion of troops, advance quick attack, deliberate attack phase and Internal Security Operations (ISOs).The 8-day Joint Operations Exercise (JOPEX) ended Friday 27 March 2009 at Okitipupa, Ondo State. It was based on the scenario of a militant group in an oil producing area taking over an island and declaring their independence, over resource control agitation. The President and Commander-in-Chief of the supposed Nambia country then tasked the Chief of Defence Staff to flush out the militants from their positions and take back the island. Nigeria has a joint exploration venture with Sao Tome and Principe within the Gulf of Guinea on cost-sharing basis.

The beach landing part of the exercise involved the simulation of naval and combat aircraft bombardments all around the surrounding beachfront, signaling the start of assault on enemy positions. The landing beach contingents sailed to the harbor in small Nigerian Navy. The troops came from three naval mother warships NNS KYANWA, NNS OBULA & NNS NWAMBA stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. And the three warships, in addition to acting as amphibious troops, softened the beachfront base of enemy positions. The troops, drawn from a Brigade of the Nigerian Army, had stayed for three days aboard the three naval cat-class warships. The vessels spent 15 hours in the journey from Lagos to the exercise area.

As the Nigerian Navy gunboats ferried the troops into the beachfront exercise area, about six squadrons of the Nigerian Air Force helicopters provided close air support, with simulations of aerial bombardments. The assault troops, brought in by naval assault ships, landed at the beach front, taking positions. Waves of amphibious forces continued to beach land, to support earlier troops.

The joint exercise Operation OLOGUN META was adjudged to be the most successful exercise in the history of Nigerian Armed Forces joint operations. This was ascribed to the effective provision of communication support. However, electronic warfare and communication security were lacking because the Nigerian Armed Forces lacked the capability to provide them.

In December 2010 a six day joint military exercise aimed at protecting the nations coastal and offshore installations against militant attacks, other economic saboteurs and Search and Rescue operations was conducted in Calabar, Cross River State. The operation, Code-named Operation NEMO, was specifically aimed at testing the operational capability of Nigerian Navy warships and platform in the protection of deep sea oil and gas installations against economic saboteurs. It is also to evaluate the Navys Command and Control especially in integrating small boat operations with that of major combat forces. It involved a total of five naval vessels, two light weight Augusta helicopters, three special boats, a Nigerian Army amphibious platoon and a Nigerian Air Force Maritime Patrol Aircraft. The naval warships include the two latest inventory to the Navy NNS Zaria and NNS BURUTU, two of the four cat-class buoy tenders transferred to the Navy by the United States Coast Guard NNS NWAMBA and NNS KYANWA and the naval tug boat TUG DOLPHIN RIMA. The joint exercise was conducted in the area around the Calabar Fair Way Buoy (FWB) and south of Bonny FWB, a strategic gateway for Nigeria critical for the economic survival of the nation.

In 2011 Governor Imoke of Cross River State attributed the peaceful status which the State has enjoyed to the presence of the Nigerian Army and other Security Agencies. The oldest Army Barracks in the country is located in Calabar and that it remains one of the tourism heritage sites in the country while the road leading there, Barracks Road, remains one of the busiest in the metropolis. The Governor appealed that the Amphibious Brigade which is situated in Calabar should be expanded and upgraded as well as the proposed training planned by the COAS be extended there to enable its officers and men be equipped to police the Water Ways of the nation in order to curb the incidence of piracy and militancy as other security operatives in Operation Messa, a peace keeping outfit, have partnered the Nigerian Army to curb crime and other forms of violence in the State.




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Page last modified: 03-06-2014 16:05:42 ZULU