The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai said that the Nigerian Army Council has approved the establishment of a new brigade headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa.
Buratai said this when he paid a courtesy call on Gov. Seriake Dickson in Yenagoa, yesterday.
He said that the new army formation would be known as the 61 Brigade, Nigerian Army.
Buratai said a commander had been appointed for the brigade while operations at the new formation would take off as soon as possible.
The COAS said the establishment of the new brigade was in furtherance of government’s strategic plan of reinforcing security in the state and by extension, the Niger Delta region.
According to Buratai, the Niger Delta is very important to the security and economy of the nation due to its closeness to the Gulf of Guinea and its status as an oil rich territory.
On the ongoing `Exercise Crocodile Smile’, Buratai said that troops had been directed to conduct themselves in the most professional manner.
He assured residents of the region that the Army was out to protect their interest as well as committed to their defence against external aggressors at all times.
“Exercise Crocodile Smile as you are aware is an exercise aimed at training our men on amphibious warfare because of the peculiarity of the terrain that requires special training.
“This exercise is also important because of the need to build the capacity of our men which has been neglected for a very long time.
“We have also integrated civil relations activities such as the medical outreach in communities in the region to enable us win their confidence as we carry on with our training.