Insecurity: Airforce Trains 640 Pilots, Engineers.
***Produce 500 Alpha-Jets Bomb Cartridges.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has said that about following the mirage of security challenges confronting the nation, about 640 personnel have been trained both locally and overseas in flying and non-flying related specialties
This is just as the NAF has been able to produce 500 units of Alpha-Jet bomb release pyro-cartridges as well as a prototype stand-alone ‘INTERVALOMETER’ hitherto being procured from abroad.
Speaking at the opening of a Retreat for Commanders of NAF formations and units from across the country holding in Abuja, Air Marshal Abubakar explained that the ‘Retreat’ is geared towards providing the road map for Unit Commanders to re-order their priorities for effective leadership because; command at any level in the military is indeed the climax of responsibility.
He reiterated his call for an overhaul of ‘our thought processes and actions to align with the national strategic direction as espoused by Mr. President through the “Change Agenda”.
Expatiating on some of the activities undertaken by the NAF, the CAS said, “In the past 7 months, we have embarked on some projects aimed at shoring up our operational, logistics, and administrative infrastructure that would enable units function optimally while ensuring that personnel and their families live in comfort.
“I am glad to state here that since then, our operational capacity has greatly improved as evinced in the successes recorded in our numerous operations in the country.
“Additionally, we have continued in our drive to providing comfortable living accommodation and a healthy working environment for our personnel so as to enhance their productivity.
Also, “It is important to mention that most of these projects are executed through Direct Labour in line with 2 of my Key drivers which are; “Re-enforcing a culture of Self-reliance and prudent management of resources,’ and ‘Promoting and inculcating the core values of integrity, excellence and service delivery”.
He said “This approach has not only saved the NAF much needed financial resources but has also
improved the technical capacity of our personnel”.
Continuing he said, “In the areas of training and capacity building, I am glad to inform you that
Training arrangements with reputable foreign and local training schools were sustained to cater for training and retraining of our pilots, aircraft maintenance personnel, Regiment, ATC and other Air Force Specialty needs. Pilots have also completed their training for transport flying at the Aviation Training Resource (ATR) in the UK. It is hoped that this will help build capacity for pilot training”.
“Furthermore, we have signed Memoranda of Understanding with institutions such as Novena University and ATBU in order to strengthen strategic partnership in R & D. The NAF achieved some level of success in Overhauling Alpha Jets Brakes assembly in collaboration with INNOSON Vehicle Manufacturing Company Nnewi.
Others are “Provision of air support for OP LAFIYA DOLE in the North East as well as the conduct of internal security operations nationwide; Airlift of Nigerian contingents to various Mission areas and evacuation of Nigerians from the Central African Republic”.
“Procurement of some military spec Harris Multiband Radios for the North East operations; Completion of Phase 1 (Makurdi, Yola and Abuja) Migration of Urban Communications System (UCS) equipment from analog to digital and IP site connection over wide area network. This will form the backbone of our Defence communications system.
“Provision of Level 2 Hospital for rendering medical services to the IDPS in the North East. Establishment of Directorate of Procurement (DPROC) to facilitate the central coordination of NAF procurement functions in line with the Due Process and Extant Laws, as enshrined in the Public Procurement Act 2007”.
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