AFL Captain Completes Intensive Military Training in Nigeria

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Captain Stephen T. Tarplah of the Armed Forces of Liberia with Counselor Tunde J. Spencer

Captain Stephen T. Tarplah of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) has completed a 21-week intensive training in Kaduna, Nigeria.

A release from the Liberian embassy in Abuja said a total of 172 African soldiers assembled for the 21-week training, which commenced on January 4.

Rev. Tunde J. Spencer, the political counselor at the Liberian embassy, represented the Liberian Ambassador, Professor Al-Hassan Conteh, at a colorful ceremony which was recently held in Jaji, Kaduna.

According to the release, Captain Tarplah was one of nine commanders of the rank of captain and their equivalents from other countries outside Nigeria who graduated from the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) of Nigeria in Jaji.

The other seven commanders are from Botswana, Cameron, Republic of Congo, The Gambia, Ghana, Niger and Sierra Leone. They joined their Nigerian counterparts from both the Nigerian Navy and Air Force.

The Nigerians, who numbered 163, comprised 91 Nigerian Army personnel; 39 from the Nigerian Navy; 28 from the Air Force; five non-military personnel from the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA), Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA), Nigeria Prison Service (NPS), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Speaking at the Junior Course 83/2017 graduation, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), who was the guest of honor, said the objective of the course is to develop the professional knowledge and understanding of selected officers of the armed forces in order to prepare them for increasing responsibilities.

The CAS, represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Headquarters, NAF, Air Vice Marshal James Gbum, said “For the past 21 weeks, you have been thoroughly subjected to various demanding tasks that exposed you to several presentations, lectures, discussions, exercises and even tours outside the college which have been carefully put together for you to imbibe what General Douglas MacArthur, a former Chief of Staff of the United States Army, called ‘The Cardinal Virtues of a Soldier.’

He added: “For members of the Nigerian armed forces, your sense of judgment in applying these skills would even be more apparent now that we are confronting a lot of internal security challenges in the country, most especially the menace of Boko Haram and the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta.”

He urged them to brace up to the likely challenges and measure up to them with “courage, conviction and in the most professional manner.”

The commandant of the college, Air Vice Marshal Suleiman Dambo, said the course is aimed at developing the command, analytical and communication skills of the students in order to equip them to effectively operate during single, combined or joint, and multi-agency service operations.

He added: “There had not been a comprehensive review of the college curriculum since 2002, hence the college embarked on a comprehensive review from 2016 to January 2017, which has since been completed and provisional approval has been granted by the defense headquarters.”

It is envisaged that the new curricula will better equip future graduates of the college with requisite professional military knowledge as well as the command and staff skills to handle contemporary operational requirements not only in Nigeria but anywhere in the world, the Vice Marshal said.

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