UK team deploys to train Nigerian forces fighting Boko Haram
A UK military training team will deploy to Nigeria as part of the ongoing efforts to train local forces to combat Boko Haram.
More than 35 personnel from the Second Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment (2 R ANGLIAN), will shortly deploy to deliver infantry training to Nigerian military personnel preparing to tackle the extremist group in the north of the country.
Last month Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced a step up in training to help Nigerian forces stamp out the threat posed by Boko Haram.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
We stand united with Nigeria in its efforts to defeat the murderous Boko Haram extremists.
Stepping up our training efforts will help support the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) for crucial counter-insurgency operations.
The enhanced commitment announced last month by the Defence Secretary includes:
- An intention to more than double the number of British personnel deployed on training tasks in Nigeria in the coming year, with up to 300 expected to provide support during 2016;
- The deployment of a specialist team to provide assistance in countering improvised explosive devices, as well as medical training and advice;
- A new RAF training team to improve the knowledge and skills of the Nigerian Air Force in airfield defence and counter insurgency, which is part of the 300 personnel.
2 R ANGLIAN, based in Cottesmore, Rutland, provided support to the AFN throughout 2015, which included the deployment of Short Term Training Teams, and support to smaller training tasks to assist the resident British Military Advisory and Training Team – which has grown in size over the last year.
Around 130 UK military personnel deployed to Nigeria on a wide range of training tasks last year.
This included training in infantry skills, civil-military affairs, media operations, command and leadership, IED-awareness, and support to Nigerian military training schools and establishments.
Almost 1,000 Nigerian military personnel have benefited from training to prepare them for counter-insurgency operations in north east Nigeria, and the work by 2 R ANGLIAN, known as The Poachers, is now well-recognised across the AFN.
The UK also supports a Nigerian intelligence and analysis cell focussed on the north east and based in Abuja, and nearly 30 UK Armed Forces personnel are deployed in Nigeria on an enduring basis in training and advisory roles.