Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, yesterday, declared that positioning the Nigerian Air Force to meet the airpower demands of national security was critically hinged on its ability to monitor Nigeria’s airspace through the implementation of military total radar coverage of Nigeria.
Total radar coverage is designed to capture, identify aircraft within the airspace and assist air traffic controllers in guiding aircraft safely to their destination.
He said the application of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies in modern-day military operations will enable the air force to harness the power of technology and determine its success in ensuring the highest levels of operational effectiveness and efficiency.
The air force chief spoke at the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Air Force Communications Information Systems (CIS) Conference held at NAF Headquarters in Abuja.
He said for NAF to ensure the security of its communications, it must seek out ways to improve its investment in state-of-the-art encryption and cyber-security measures.
“A deep focus on artificial intelligence can revolutionise how we process data, analyze information and make informed decisions in real-time, thereby giving us the edge we need to excel in theatres of operations around the country”, he said.
Speaking at the conference themed “Exploiting Emerging CIS Technologies for an Agile and Resilient NAF to Effectively Meet National Security Imperatives”, the air force boss said it aligned with his command philosophy, “to transform the NAF into an agile and resilient force that effectively meets the airpower demands of national security in all operational environments”.
He called for deliberations to be guided by the theme in order to come up with innovative solutions. He said “positioning the NAF to meet the airpower demands of national security was critically hinged on NAF’s ability to monitor Nigeria’s airspace through the implementation of military total radar coverage of Nigeria”.
Air Marshal Abubakar stressed the essential role of CIS in enabling commanders to make informed decisions, coordinate forces and ultimately achieve mission objectives.
He underlined NAF’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements, aligning with one of the key enablers of his command philosophy of “prioritising R&D, leveraging cutting-edge technology, strategic partnerships, and lessons learned.”
He added that the conference underscored the NAF’s dedication to staying ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of modern warfare through the effective use of emerging CIS technologies.
He asserted that the presence of experienced senior officers as resource persons underscored the conference’s significance and encouraged participants to see the forum as an opportunity to positively impact NAF’s capabilities.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief of Communication and Information Systems (CCIS), Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola, affirmed that the 2-day Conference was aimed at exploring innovative CIS that would enhance NAF’s operational capabilities in addressing pressing national security imperatives.
He said the theme of the conference was carefully selected after diligent consideration of the daunting security challenges bedeviling the nation and bearing in mind that the resolution of these challenges required innovative solutions.
He stressed the importance of evolving novel CIS technologies in the prosecution of military operations on land, sea, air or cyberspace environments.
He also added that the core derivative of the conference was geared towards improving the capacity of CIS personnel as well as reinvigorating CIS-based procedures with a view to enhancing NAF operational effectiveness.
The CCIS also listed some achievements recorded by the CIS Branch in recent times including the receipt of approval for the establishment of Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems Maintenance Workshop at 441 CIS Group Kaduna as well as successfully midwifing the implementation of the NAF Digital Correspondence System in NAF headquarters for efficient handling of correspondences.
The two-day conference serves as a platform for CIS practitioners and stakeholders to discuss critical issues, seeking to enhance operational effectiveness and future CIS practices.
Some of the stakeholders represented at the conference include the National Information Technology Development Agency, National Space Research & Development Agency, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd and Nigerian Communications Commission.
Present at the Conference were branch chiefs from defence and service headquarters, commandants of tri-service institutions and CIS professionals from all NAF units.