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Nigerian military trains personnel on geospatial intelligence to tackle insurgency

- Geospatial technologies have been recognised as important in military based decision making

- This is evident in the fact that most decisions made by military personnel are location-based

- The Nigerian military through the Defence Space Administration is training its staff to be able to deploy this technology for warfare

About 18 participants have graduated from a four weeks training organised by the Defence Space Administration (DSA) Abuja in conjunction with the African Regional Institute for Geospatial Information Science and Technology (AFRIGIST)

The participants who are military officers and civilians carefully selected by the DSA, embarked on the course which focused on image and terrain analysis as well as defence mapping.

The specific objectives of the training were:

1. To introduce the participants to the fundamentals of remote sensing, GIS and mapping

2. To equip participants with digital image processing and terrain analysis techniques

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3 To train participants on feature extraction, analysis and visualization of spatial data.

Insecurity: Nigerian military trains personnel, civilians on satellite image and defence mapping

Beneficiaries of the training and management of DSA pose for a photo after the graduation ceremony.
Source: Original

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Speaking at the graduation ceremony on Friday, February 21, the Chief of Defence Space Administration, Major-General EG Whyte, represented by the director of procurement, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo said the training is in line with the mandate of the DSA.

His words: “We are building capacity for space-based satellite capacity with a view to improving our operational efficiency with the emerging security challenges in the country.

“They've been exposed to the practice of what they were taught by AFRIGIST which was the resource institute for the programme.”

On his part, the director of earth observation in the DSA, Air Vice Marshal Emmanuel Chukwu stated that troops at the front-line fighting insurgency need intelligence to succeed.

“The DSA is established to support them with geospatial intelligence for them to know how the enemies manoeuvre through satellite imagery and so on and so forth.

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“This course is meant to build the capacity of our boys in doing that. We have facilities. With this training, they will be able to produce the imagery and all the geospatial intelligence required for those at the war front to prosecute the insurgency,” he said.

Also speaking, Surveyor Abdoulaye Belem, deputy executive director of AFRIGIST, said the training is important “because positioning in security is important and those in the field should have the skills and tools to use the up to date technology.”

He also revealed that there will be more collaboration with the DSA, the Nigerian armed forces and other armed forces across the continent.

Mis Binta Amodu, one of the beneficiaries of the training and staff of the DSA told journalists that the course will help military operations across the country.

Her words: “This course has further broadened my horizon as regards how to use our space technology in assisting the troops on the field by providing them with satellite imagery that has been analysed.

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“This training will help us do the analysis and would help us give them accurate results - like the terrain, best routes they can use - that will be needed on the field.”

Last year, Major-General E.G. Whyte had promised that Nigeria will adopt the use of space science technology in fighting insurgency.

The DSA boss noted that in contemporary times, science is required to effectively engage in warfare, adding that the Nigerian military will employ the use of space science technology to impact national security.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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