- Acquires Super Mushshak Trainer aircraft from Pakistan
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has disclosed that the Nigerian military and other security and intelligence agencies are making every effort to locate and destroy the reported Boko Haram terrorists radio.
Abubakar stated this at the weekend while fielding questions from journalists during the graduation of 10 student pilots Course 41B from 301 Flying Training School and the inauguration of projects at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base, Kaduna.
Boko Haram terrorists had last week claimed that they had established a radio station with which they aim to inform members of the public of their activities and counter information emanating from the military and security agencies.
The Air Force chief, however, when asked how the military was responding to the threat by the Boko Haram sect, revealed that the Defence forces are already on the lookout for the purported station to destroy it.
“What I can say about that for now is that we are doing everything possible to locate and destroy it,” he stated
Speaking on the newly trained pilots, Abubakar emphasised the importance of professionalism in a combat force such as the NAF, which he noted cannot be overemphasised, “especially at this critical time in our nation’s history, when the Air Force is relied upon to provide effective air power delivery in the fight against terrorism and insurgency as well as in pursuit of other strategic national security objectives.
“This was, and will continue to be the overarching consideration of my vision for the Air Force, which seeks to reposition the service into a highly professional and disciplined force ready to effectively employ air power in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives.”
According to him, the scope and severity of the current national security challenges are unprecedented in the history of the country.
Abubakar said the armed forces of Nigeria have a crucial role to play in ensuring that Nigeria overcomes these challenges and is able to forge ahead in the march towards greatness.
He further stated that the NAF was steadily increasing the tempo of its various operations in support of the surface forces to create the enabling environment for restoration of peace and stability to the trouble spots across the nation.
“This has continually increasing the tempo of operations drives to commensurate the increase in demand for skilled operational manpower. To meet this demand, we have emplaced measures to facilitate intensive human capacity development in key areas of competence in air operations.
“Accordingly, we are enhancing the capabilities of our training institutions and exploiting other local and foreign training opportunities.
“For instance, the NAF is leveraging on its vibrant bilateral relations with the Pakistan Air Force to acquire the Super Mushshak Trainer aircraft for induction into the ab-initio training fleet at 301 Flying Training School. The induction of the Super Mushshak will enhance the quality of the ab-initio programme as the platform has capability for the full spectrum of military flying training.
“In the area of exploiting other available training opportunities, I am pleased to note that 20 of the 42 student pilots of SPC 42 have recently departed for foreign training, 10 to South Africa and the United Kingdom, while another eight are now being trained at the International Aviation College in Ilorin.
“The enhancement of Nigerian Air Force inherent capability for human capacity development while exploiting other available training opportunities is part of our overall grand strategy to reposition the Service to effectively contend with current and future threats,” he added.
In a related development, Abubakar had inaugurated some completed projects, which he noted were part of “our efforts towards uplifting and upgrading the various facilities in our operational units of the air force.”
He said the projects-AWO’s House; two blocks of three bedroom duplexes at Happier Valley; road network and Air Mshl SB Abubakar Garden ”would no doubt add impetus to the comfort and welfare of personnel in order to carry out assigned tasks and responsibilities.”