The Nigerian Navy on Saturday inducted 1,585 personnel that would be deployed in counter insurgency and oil theft operations across the country.
Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, inducted the troops during the Passing Out Parade of Batch 26th Trainees at the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School in Onne, Rivers.
He said the recruitment became necessary due to several maritime security threats confronting the nation as a result of economic, socio-political, environmental and technological factors.
“The Navy mandate envisions a navy that would defend Nigeria’s maritime interest in line with the nation’s constitutional goals, and project force well beyond the Gulf of Guinea.
“In the last two years, the nation has made massive investment in training support infrastructure, onshore logistic structures, proliferated welfare projects and the bold fleet recapitalization drive.
“This build up will not amount to much without the right personnel to work the set-up. It is crucial for the navy to develop, maintain, sustain and operate forces appropriate to its force evolution.
“To this end, it became necessary to absorb able bodied young Nigerians and refine them into a desired finished product to participate in various operations,” he said.
Olonisakin said the 1,585 personnel were expertly trained in various warfare and maritime courses for a period of six months.
He said some of the new intakes would be deployed in counter insurgency operations in the North-East, while others would participate in maritime operations in the Niger Delta and Gulf of Guinea.
He urged them to be disciplined, obedient, apolitical and have unflinching loyalty to the military and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other dignitaries that witnessed the occasion were Service Chiefs, National Assembly members and representative of governors, among others.