The Lagbaja Story (PART 2) Leading a Well-Trained Team

By Secured Naija

Having discussed Lt Gen TA Lagbaja’s giant stride in the welfare of troops which has contributed immensely to the unequaled operational landmarks, I shall now look at his successful venture into training.

As discussed in part 1, Gen Lagbaja conducted a series of operational assessment tours to Nigerian Army formations and units across the country to boost the morale of personnel and shore up their operational efficiencies, Lagbaja also got feedback which resulted in his effective use of Mission Command in his pursuit to transform the Army.

Emphasis on Mission Command

“I intend to pursue a culture of mutual trust and respect between commanders and those under command” – Lagbaja

Mission Command allows trust in subordinate commanders’ ability to plan, coordinate, and execute flexible yet disciplined decision-making throughout increasingly complex operational environments, giving commanders the confidence to boldly conduct decisive action. Its principles demand that understanding come “from the bottom up and not just from the top down” which enhances teamwork.

In keeping with his commitment to leadership by example, General Lagbaja has tried to entrench the key leadership values of unity of purpose and mutual trust by promoting the mission command philosophy in the Nigerian Army. Hence, commanders are given tasks/responsibilities and adequately resourced to execute them with little supervision. This has greatly improved the teamwork in the pride of the Nation.

Leadership Training and Reviews Through COAS Quarterly Conferences

“We must evolve new training and operational strategies through ingenuity to sustain the successes gained so far.” – Lagbaja

The COAS Conferences which is a culture in the Nigerian Army are usually organized to provide a veritable platform for regular consultation with field commanders for a comprehensive review of the Nigerian Army’s activities in each quarter. Secured Naija also gathered that the conferences provide an avenue for commanders to be trained as a team as lectures are sometimes delivered by professionals on areas that are critical to the Army’s operations. This has greatly boosted teamwork amongst various commanders. We also learnt that General Lagabaja has taken the conduct of this conference to another level introducing lots of activities to boost leadership skills.

Effective Troops Training

In the quest to enhance personnel capability and readiness to confront emerging demands of current military operations, the Nigerian Army’s modules of training have been reviewed to be mission-focused. Such training includes SHINING STAR V, FAST BOLT II, and RESTORE HOPE VI, all tailored to equip and adapt troops who freshly passed out of Depot Nigerian Army to the challenges posed by the ever-changing nature of threats within Nigeria’s security environment.

During such training, securednaija gathered that troops conduct special missions such as rappelling and insertion operations deep into enemy lines to carry out rescue missions and raids. This is in addition to ensuring that training aids were given top priority while the conduct of other tactical training, such as combat sports competitions, combat proficiency tests, seminars, workshops, and command posts, as well as field training exercises, were upgraded to develop a virile and capable leadership structure that can effectively guide and motivate personnel. All the competitions, seminars, and workshops mentioned above are conducted from the Army Headquarters level to the lowest command in the Army.

It was gathered that after such training, such soldiers are ready to be deployed in any volatile areas in Nigeria. The outcome of such training has also been seen in troops readiness and the way terrorists and bandits are been decimated in recent times. Kudos to the ever-ready COAS

Exercises Still Waters III, Golden Dawn III, And Enduring Peace III

The Year 2023 NODUF exercises codenamed EXERCISES STILL WATERS III, GOLDEN DAWN III, and ENDURING PEACE III which was flagged off by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen TA Lagbaja in Lagos was a training exercise that provided avenues for the troops to display their bravery and ingenuity in a real-life situation. The Exercises were efforts by the COAS to ensure the protection of lives and property across the Federation as the year 2023 draws to an end. The exercises which curbed security challenges in the South-South, South-East, South-West, and North Central Nigeria ran concurrently in the respective geopolitical zones till the end of the Year 2023.

Flagging of the Exercises at the Forward Operating Base at Ibafo, General Lagbaja maintained that the exercises were to combat diverse emerging security challenges peculiar to the affected geopolitical zones, in order to mitigate the spiking of such challenges associated with the last quarter of the year. The COAS charged the troops to carry out their duties diligently within the confines of the law and stipulated codes of conduct. The exercises recorded lots of successes all over the federation.

The importance of training to military operational success cannot be overemphasized. Military training must therefore change as the operational environment changes. This is what Gen Lagbaja has achieved, making the troops’ training to be continually forward-thinking, innovative, aggressive, and real-time. He ensures troops understand how warfare is evolving and in adapting training to meet those challenges. This has led to a series of operational breakthroughs which I shall discuss in Part 3.

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