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ABYSSINIA BATTALION WINS 2024 WATERMANSHIP COMPETITION, AS NDA WRAPS UP WATERMANSHIP TRAINING PACKAGE FOR 71 REGULAR COURSE ARMY

ABYSSINIA BATTALION WINS 2024 WATERMANSHIP COMPETITION, AS NDA WRAPS UP WATERMANSHIP TRAINING PACKAGE FOR 71 REGULAR COURSE ARMY

The Watermanship Training Package conducted by the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA )for cadets of 71 Regular Course (RC) of the Academy came to an exciting climax with Abyssinia Battalion emerging winners of 2024 Cadets Brigade Inter-Battalion Watermanship Competition, which held today Thursday, 29th February, 2024 at the Nigerian Air Force Base Dam, venue of the 2 – week long training package.

The competition which pulled the curtains on the rigorous and extensive Watermanship Training Package for the final year cadets, witnessed the active participation of all physically fit cadets of 71 RC Army, with each of the battalions presenting four teams each, including one female cadet for each of the events competed for. Events for the competition include Boat Racing, Boat Relay, Casualty Evacuation and Construction/Silent Crossing with Improvised Raft.

Going by the results announced by the Chief Judge of the competition, Lieutenant Colonel MD Arastus, Abyssinia Battalion pulled ahead of the three other Regular Cadets Battalions by amassing an aggregate score of 380 points to win the competition. Following behind Abyssinia was Mogadishu Battalion, which scored a total of 320 points to place 2nd on the scoreboard. Dalet Battalion, with a score of 260 points emerged in the 3rd position, while Burma Battalion scored 160 points to secure the 4th position.

Addressing the cadets at the end of activities, Commandant NDA, Major General JO Ochai, who was represented by the Deputy Commandant NDA, Air Vice Marshal (AVM)SK Aneke, charged them to take every aspect of the training they had received during the Watermanship Training Package very seriously, noting that the skills the cadets have acquired would become invaluable on the battlefields. AVM Aneke told the cadets that their ability to assimilate and imbibe the training they have been given could mean the difference between them surviving or not in a combat zone. He therefore advised them not to take any part of their training for granted. He informed the cadets that during his time as a cadet in NDA, he and his course mates were not privileged to receive such a comprehensive and thorough training, yet some of them were thrust straight into combat zones in Liberia and Sierra Leone as soon as the Passed Out from NDA, with some of their comrades losing their lives during those peacekeeping operations.

While informing the cadets that their ability to hone and perfect all the skills they have learnt during training will greatly boost the confidence of the men who would be placed under their command in their units, AVM Aneke urged them to continue to retrain and make a personal commitment to developing themselves. He further informed the cadets that when conditions deteriorate in the battlefields, soldiers look up to their officers because they expect them to have the right leadership qualities, skills and experience to lead them through the tough times. He added that such a time is not one for an officer to look confused but to take charge and be the leader he’s been trained to be. AVM quipped that only with the right training and retraining can an officer rise to the occasion.

The Deputy Commandant also used the occasion to appreciate the support of the Nigerian Army School of Engineers, 21 Support Engineer Regiment, instructors from the Citizenship and Leadership Training School (CLTS), Jos and NDA instructors for their support in ensuring a successful training exercise.

The Watermanship Training Package is a major training activity at the Nigerian Defence Academy and it is organised for final year Army Cadets of NDA. This 2024 exercise was organised by the Nigerian Defence Academy for Cadets of 71 Regular Course (Army), with support from the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering (NASME) and the Citizenship and Leadership Training School, Shere Hills, Jos.

Highpoints of the event included presentation of trophy, certificates as well as souvenir to the Special Guest of Honour, Commander Infantry Corps, Major General OO Oluyede.