The Chairman of African Conference of Commandants (ACoC) and Commandant of the Nigerian Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCS), AVM John Chris Ifemeje has identified thorough training of members of the armed forces as fundamental to fulfilling their mandate
of protecting their respective nations.
He said, armed forces all over the world have the traditional role of defending their nations’ territorial integrity, but such can only be achieved when the requisite equipment is provided and manpower adequately trained to carry out their functions.
The Nigerian Air Force General stated this in a paper he delivered to world’s conference of Commandants held in Bucharest, Romania.
AVM Ifemeje in his paper titled; “Selection and Further Development of Directing Staff” and made available to Daily Sun said, it was in an effort to realise the objective of protecting the nation’s territorial integrity, that various institutions were established to conduct training of personnel in the armed forces.
According to him, “every arm within the armed forces therefore established schools to meet their training demands. Meanwhile, the dynamics of conflict necessitating joint operations led to the
establishment of joint training schools in order to ensure
harmonisation and standardisation within the armed forces of any nation. Command and staff colleges were thus established as a means of further developing officers within the armed forces, especially on command and staff skills required of them at the operational and tactical levels of warfare”.
Speaking further at the conference organized by the NATO Defence College (NDC) and co-hosted by the National Defence University of Romania (NDU-R), ACoC Chairman said, in the efforts to mould the officers, Directing Staff have great responsibilities to ensure that
the quality of officers turned out by the college meet the needs of the Armed Forces as well as that of other organisations.
“The role Directing Staff play in the training and character moulding of their subordinate officers is responsible for the very high standard expected of them. Hence, the selection criteria includes being among the best students during their own courses and having impeccable characters that are worthy of emulation. Others are possessing good leadership attributes, integrity, sound judgement,
loyalty and initiative among others.
“Aside that, after the selection process, a potential Directing Staff is expected to undergo some level of further training/development before assumption of duty. This is to equip him with knowledge and skills required for the challenging tasks associated with being a Directing Staff. Areas of development that could benefit the DS are
comparative studies programmes, courses on educational psychology, mentoring programmes and masters degree programmes in defence studies, strategic studies, conflict management, security and development amongst others,” he explained.
The AFCSC Commandant also argued that, orientation course which will equip Directing Staff with instructional techniques, by understudying a more experienced Directing Staff to learn the rules for the job would also be required.
While he equally encouraged comparative studies for Directing Staff, AVM Ifemeje added that, an opportunity to experience how things are done in other staff colleges become necessary, as the experience from the two colleges will prepare them better to discharge their tasks
In attendance at the 43rd conference were; participants from all NATO countries, resource persons and partners including African Conference of Commandants (ACoC) as well as other non-NATO countries.
The ACoC was represented by the Commandant AFCSC Nigeria who is the current ACoC Chair. The non-NATO countries include Algeria, Tunisia, Qatar, Jordan, Mongolia and Japan amongst others.