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Sierra Leoneans graduate from military college

8 August 2009 at 23:19 | 476 views

By Pasco Temple, Abuja, Nigeria.

One Hundred and five Senior Military officers (Colonels, Naval Commanders & Air force Captains) and Police Commissioners from twelve African countries including Sierra Leone have been certificated by Nigeria’s National Defense College with a fellow of National Defense, (fdc) (bachelor of Science equivalent) after forty four weeks of series of intensive lectures on a wide scope of Military and Academic subjects and exercises.

The twelve Countries include, Nigeria, Chad, Cote D Ivoire, Ghana, Lesotho, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Republic of Benin, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Uganda in the African Union Commission.

According to Rear Admiral GJ Jonah OON, DSS, psc (+), nde, MNSE, Commandant National Defense college, the forty four weeks saw the teaching of concepts and elementary strategy, National Defense Capability, Military Strategies, Peace Support Operations, Technology and Warfare, Defense policy Development, The Art of Command, Military Aid to Civil Authority and Military Aid to Civil Power, Crisis Management, joint Operations and Logistics at the Operational level and Geo – strategic studies.

“Resource persons were drawn from Universities, Research institutions, international organizations, industries, government establishment as well as from the pool of serving and retired officers of the Armed Forces from Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States”.

Rear Admiral Jonah said, the course also undertook geo-strategic study tours of selected civil and military establishments in nine states in Federal Republic of Nigeria including African Steel Mill in Ikorodu, Ajaokuta Steel Company in Ajaokuta and Delta Steel Company in Aladja.

In terms of military installations, they also studied at Tactical Air Command HQ in Makurdi, 82 Divisional Nigerian Army Enugu, Eastern Naval Command Calabar and Zone 6 Police Command Calabar

“participants including Sierra Leone’s Colonel Madieu H. Jalloh undertook geo - strategic study tour of some states in Nigeria and selected countries in Africa, Europe, North and South America as well as Asia including Bangladesh, Benin, China, Congo Brazzaville, Cote D’Ivoire, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Liberia, Namibia, Poland, Sweden, Suriname, Oman, Trinidad & Tobago and UAE.

“Ekiti and Ogun States in Federal Republic of Nigeria were also visited by Foreign Participants”. Said Rear Admiral Jonah.

Addressing the ceremony, the Rear Admiral Jonah said the objective of the course is to prepare senior military and civilian officers for operational and strategic level responsibilities at national and international environments, underpin leadership and command functions with a firm understanding of geopolitical considerations affecting Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large, Develop an in-depth understanding of elements of national power which will aid in a better articulation of grand national strategy, provide knowledge of the political and strategic framework for policy making and operations in joint and multi national environments, relate within a democratic framework the higher management of defense to broader national interests, undertake advance academic research at national strategic policy level and proffer policy recommendations on specific national and international issues that border on national security.

He said the college is established to meet the educational and training philosophy that is guiding the activities and programs which arose from the need to provide the highest military training at the strategic level with firm emphasis on professionalism and provision of specialist imput required to contribute to the decision making process of the nation within a democratic political structure.

The key focus is on promoting military professionalism as the basis for developing sound and consistent military advice, when the application of force is being contemplated as a policy option in national or international arena.

The fellowship (Fdc) award automatically qualifies the successful officers for a Masters of Science degree in Strategic studies scheduled to commence in September, at the Ibadan University.

Sierra Leone’s Chief of Defense Staff, Major General Alfred Claude Nelson Williams is the first product of the National Defense College (former War College) to become Sierra Leone’s Chief of Defense Staff.

Photo, right to left: Colonel M.H.Jalloh, Deputy High Commissioner Mbomah, Sierra Leone’s Chief of Defence Staff, Nelson Williams and Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff.