Nigerian Air Force acquires new platforms

Chiamaka Okechukwu, Lagos.

The Nigerian Air Force says it has acquired new platforms and is currently reactivating old aircraft to effectively combat contemporary security challenges.

The acquisition of new aircraft and the reactivation of existing ones locally was part of the gains in building personnel capacity in the Force.

Six Alpha Jets engines reactivated earlier were already being flown.

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar made this statement at the inauguration of the newly built Air Force Secondary School and Airmen Transit Accommodation at 401 Communications Depot, Shasha.

“Just recently, we reactivated our six engines of Alpha Jets that would have been taken outside the country that clearly shows our personnel are working hard,” Abubakar said.

The Air Chief added that the Service had inducted MI-35 helicopter and helicopter gunships in Makurdi and through the help of the Nigerian Government airplanes are being reactivated.

On personnel welfare, Abubakar said the Air Force was focusing on enhancement of human capacity.

“Some of the personnel are being trained abroad and they are coming back home to save the country of resources that would have been spent outside.

“This has contributed immensely towards equipping the service to conduct counter insurgency operations and also contend with other emerging security challenges across Nigeria. ”

He assured Nigerians that the Air Force would continue to do its best to meet their statutory responsibility of defending the territorial integrity of the nation.

Education

On the inaugurated school and accommodation, Abubakar said education was key in human capital development and presumed to be a vital factor in technical advancement and innovation.

“Competence, ability and performance are often derived from sound education.

“We made a quick assessment of the available primary and secondary schools in our bases and identified some gaps.

“This gaps necessitated the upgrade of some of the schools, building and additional ones to meet the educational requirements of our personnel’s dependants and the host communities.”

Nigerian Air Force base, Shasha has 18 classrooms, five laboratories, a library and recreational facilities, as well as offices for the commandant and other members of staff,” he said.

Air Marshal Abubakar said airmen would stay in the transit accommodation for some months with a view to ensuring improved mentorship and post-recruitment training for enhanced performance.

“Each block consists of 30 fully furnished self-contained rooms. Similar blocks are being provided in major Nigerian NAF bases nationwide,” he said.

The Air Officer Commanding, Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Yahaya said the accommodation was built to meet the growing accommodation needs.

“Two other projects are also currently ongoing in this base- a block of 18 flats of two-bedroom for Senior Non-Commissioned Officers and new Corporals and below mess.

Last year, the Chief of Air Staff had promised to construct the classrooms and was reminded of the urgent need for a secondary school to address the difficulty experienced by personnel’s children.