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Chief of Air Staff tasks officers on professionalism as NAF wings 6 pilots

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Photo: NAF Pilots

Nigeria’s Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, on Friday charged newly commissioned pilots of the nation’s Air Force to pursue excellence and professionalism as operational pilots in the discharge of their duties and work with their colleagues across other specialties in the service,

Amao gave the charge at the Nigerian Air Force NAF) headquarters in Abuja at a ceremony held to wing the six helicopter pilots who recently completed their training in the United Kingdom.

The Air Chief of Staff noted that the NAF must have the right numerical strength and quality manpower to operate effectively in protecting the nations airspace.

He said that a total of 195 officers and airmen/airwomen were currently undergoing training on various courses abroad cutting across several specialties and trades.

The Air Force Chief adding that the winging of the 6 pilots was yet another step towards the actualization of the most critical airpower capability, that must be enhanced and sustained for effective and efficient performance, which is the human being that operates the air platforms.

“It is against this background that the ‘pursuit of purposeful training and human capacity development’ was specifically selected as one of the key drivers of my Vision.

“Accordingly, this is based on the premise that, for the NAF to function efficiently, both as a highly technical Service and as a fighting force for the effective defence of Nigeria’s territorial integrity, it must have the right numerical strength and, more importantly, the right quality of manpower in all relevant competencies.

“As we speak, many other pilots, as well as personnel from other specialties are attending various training courses both at home and abroad. These efforts are expected to place the Service in a dominant position to more effectively deliver on its constitutional role, especially in the light of our involvement in several internal security operations across the country.

“Currently, the NAF has a total of 195 officers and airmen/airwomen undergoing various training courses abroad cutting across several specialties and trades. Out of this number, 4 student pilots are currently undergoing similar helicopter training at Draken Europe Helicopter Academy, United Kingdom, the same institution where the pilots winged today graduated.

“In the same vein, 4 other student pilots are in the Czech Republic undergoing basic fighter training on the L-39 aircraft, while 5 student pilots are undergoing helicopter training at United States Army Aviation Facility, Fort Rucker, USA.

“Additionally, there are 17 student pilots in South Africa undergoing Basic Transport Pilot Training.
There is also an officer undergoing Helicopter Pilot Training in India.

“Locally, there are 12 student pilots undergoing Basic Fighter Training at 403 FTS, Kano, while 10 others are undergoing Basic Transport Training at 401 FTS, Kaduna. All these courses are aimed at maintaining combat readiness by increasing the number of pilots to man our existing platforms, including the 26 aircraft acquired by the Federal Government in the past 6 years.”

He said “The NAF has also continued to build capacity for the several other aircraft types that have been newly acquired and are expected to be delivered before the end of the year. For instance, about 60 NAF personnel, comprising pilots, engineers, technicians and other specialists, recently completed their training on the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft in the USA.

“This is in preparation for the arrival of 6 aircraft that departed United States for Nigeria 3 days ago. They are expected to arrive in Nigeria before the end of the month. The other 6 are also expected to arrive Nigeria by September 2021.

“The overall effect of these efforts is that the NAF, operating in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, will be better positioned to more effectively counter both domestic and foreign threats to the nation’s security and the wellbeing of our people.

“To the young pilots who have just been winged today, I congratulate you for successfully completing the training. I urge you to be relentless in the pursuit of excellence and professionalism as operational pilots while working with your colleagues across other specialties in the Service.

“You must also strive to imbibe the doctrine of jointness and espirit de corps in the forward lines as you interact with personnel from our sister Services and other security agencies in various theatres of operations nationwide for more enduring results.

“Finally, let me use this auspicious occasion to thank the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his unwavering commitment and support to the development and enhancement of the Armed Forces, in general, and the NAF, in particular. Indeed, Mr President’s continued support has energized us to strive for the peace and stability of our fatherland.”

The event was attended by the Chief of Air Staff, NAF’s Chief of Policy and Plans, AVM Romanus Ekeh and Chief of Training and Operations, AVM James Gwani, among others.

 

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