200 Nigerian Air Force personnel undergoing combat training abroad
London, Nov. 11, 2020 (AltAfrica)-200 personnel of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) currently undertaking different combat trainings in nine different countries to further enhance the capacity NAF in air combat.
The training of the personnel was part of capacity building measures of the current management of NAF according to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, while appearing at the 2021 budget defence session of the Senate Committee on Air Force.
“As part of our capacity building initiatives, the Nigerian Air Force currently has about 200 personnel it is training in nine different countries of the world.
“The pilots will soon join their colleagues in the fight to secure the country.’’
He said that the training of NAF crew had greatly improved, adding that the measure was resulting inefficiency in air combat operations of NAF.
He also disclosed that enhancement in training of NAF aircraft engineers and technicians had also increased the visibility status of Nigerian Air Force from an average of 35 per cent to 85 per cent as at date.
Abubakar said that NAF in a bid to ensure security was brought closer to the people by the established number of bases.
He listed the new bases to include Birini Gwari in Kaduna state, Gusah in Zamfara, Owerri in Imo and Agatu in Benue.
Others are Jetu in Taraba, Jera in Plateau and Daura in Kastina state.
“We have expanded the base unit in Illesa, Osun state.
“We have established a base, referral hospital and helicopters’ maintenance facility in our base in Bauchi.
“These bases have actually made it easier for us to respond to security challenges that might emerge in the various geo-political zones where these bases are located.’’
He also disclosed that NAF had developed the capacity of 119 Pilots, two of whom were from Liberia.
According to him, the two trained Liberian officials were released to the Liberian Air Force.
The Air Force boss said that NAF was expecting 12 combat pilots from the United Kingdom by Nov. 21, and Nov. 22.
He also said that as part its restructuring, NAF had also created field commands.
He said that 4,788 patients also benefited from its medical outreach programmes conducted in different parts of the country.
He commended the Senate Committee for supporting NAF on its activities while also looking forward to receiving more support from the committee.
This, he said, would enable NAF to execute its mandate further.
“We cannot win the insurgency war without a credible Air Force, and we are working toward ensuring that we bridge the gap that have existed over the years in terms of capability and capacity of the Air Force.’’