Over three hundred (300) personnel of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) have commenced a three-day live firing exercise at the Benguema Training School, on Wednesday 10th November 2010.
The officers, men and women, were drawn from various regiments across the country, including personnel from the Maritime Wing at Murray Town and Wilberforce.
Prior to the commencement of the exercise, the Range Conducting Officer, Captain Musa Gbow, disclosed that the training was to broaden the know-how of soldiers on the proper use of weapons.
He said at the end of the exercise on Friday, prizes will be awarded to the best all round team, best Firing range, best group and many more.
In his brief speech, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Brigadier Robert Yirah Koroma admonished those living within the firing range at Benguema to quit and find somewhere else to situate until the exercise completes.
“A lot of people have encroached on the land located around the firing site so it is very dangerous for them to stay whenever firing exercise is ongoing,” he stated, stressing that the possibility for stray bullets to hurt people is always imminent.
Brigadier Koroma informed that the problem of encroachment is posing a threat to the military base, and that he would soon make official complaint to the Lands Ministry for appropriate action to be initiated on those occupying the land.
He admonished the soldiers to take the exercise seriously as according to him it will make the RSLAF know more as to how to use the different weapons and to know how to shoot at targets and attack enemies.
He declared the firing training exercise open by firing 3 shots in the air.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.