The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 3 November 2017, graduated the first set of 24 fitter machinists that were trained in-house at the recently rehabilitated machine tools workshop of the 131 Engineering Group, NAF Base Makurdi.
To qualify for graduation, the graduands went through two weeks of intensive and specialized training on the operation of fitter machining tools, welding, fabrication, panel beating, woodwork and carpentry.
The graduation of this first set of trainees is significant to the accomplishment of NAF objectives. Firstly, it would enhance maintenance capacity and accordingly, the operational effectiveness of the F-7Ni aircraft fleet, which is actively involved in the ongoing Operation Lafiya Dole in the northeastern part of the country.
It is also expected that the graduands would ultilize the skills and knowledge gained during the course to produce some airframe parts for the F-7Ni aircraft.
Besides, the highly equipped 131 Engineering Group machine workshop would serve as a resource base to NAF personnel and youths in the Base for skills acquisition in fabrication.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the Guest of Honour, who is also the Chief of Standards and Evaluation at the Headquarters NAF, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Kingsley Lar attributed the success recorded in the graduation to the vision of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, who is determined to equip every personnel of the NAF with the required capacity to serve the NAF better.
He also thanked the partnering resource persons from the University of Maiduguri for contributing to the training of the graduands.
In addition, AVM Lar informed the gathering that the CAS had given approval for the commencement of an intermediate course for the graduands within a fortnight.
It would be recalled that on 20 October 2017, Air Marshal Abubakar commissioned the newly reactivated 131 Engineering Group machine tools workshop and also inaugurated the course to train the first set of trainees, who have now graduated.
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