The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar, has said that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) acquired 30 aircraft and activated 13 grounded ones in the last three years.
Abubakar disclosed this at the weekend at the inauguration of the new Headquarters of Air Training Command, and the Sports complex at the Air Force Comprehensive School in Kaduna.
He said professionalism was about providing serviceable equipment and making case to the federal government to provide equipment required.
“I am very happy. In the last three years, we were able to acquire 18 aircraft, similarly the federal government has paid for additional 12 aircraft, if put together is 30,” Abubakar said.
“Professionalism is also ensuring that we activate what currently we have; hence we embarked on renovation of our grounded aircraft.
“So far, we have activated 13 aircraft and working on the 14 to15 ones both in Port Harcourt in Rivers State,’’ he said.
According to him, professionalism is having the right structure, hence the decision to unbundle the former Training Command to Air Training Command and Ground Training Command.
He disclosed that the NAF increased its manpower from 1,000 a year to 1,500 minimum annually.
“We also recognised the need to have required numbers of officers, in addition to the one coming from Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) and that is why we enlisted 400 Direct Short Service Commission Officers’’ he said.
The air chief also pledged to improve the welfare of personnel hence the force embarked on construction of accommodation and renovation of existing ones including office accommodation.
He said that the NAF was able to make the achievements through the support of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Earlier, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Air Training Command, Muhammad Idris, commended Mr Abubakar for his visionary and well thought leadership.
He said the construction of the air training command headquarters was completed in eight months.