By Doris Esa
Abuja – The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Monday in Abuja decorated 14 of its newly-graduated pilots with their “Wings” after completion of their flight training in Nigeria and South Africa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that of the 14 pilots being decorated, 12 were from NAF, while two were from Liberia.
The officers are : Flying officers A. Abba, T.Tamen, C.Gadzama, E.Agwu, M.Adamu, H.Ajagbe and A.Man-Ugwueje,
Others are : O. Obi, Flight. Lt. V. Sirleaf, Flight Lt. J.Dwanah,O.Akadiri, Flying Officer P.Piyo, Flying officer D.Otuokon and Flying officer I. Obi.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, while decorating the officers with their pilot’s wings, urged them not to be complacent in their duties.
He advised the young pilots to be prepared for the task ahead as they fit into the operational flying environment.
” You must not become complacent, knowing that flying operations require discipline, dedication and a lot of hard work, indeed, your journey to fruitful flying arrears is just beginning.
” You must, therefore, be mentally prepared for mentoring by your captains and sector colleagues in the field.
He also urged the officers not to forget the three ‘Ds’ to success, which are Drive, Discipline and Desire in the quest for daily improvement.
” Remember that you are being inducted into flying operations at a key movement in our nation’s history.
” Consequently, you would do well to always remember that the hopes of millions are resting on your broad shoulders.
“Learn the rudiments of your craft well and be guided by a purpose higher than yourselves,” he said.
Abubakar further urged the officers to conduct themselves as professionals, when they are deployed to their operational units.
“Treat innocent citizens with respect and dignity, but be very decisive in dealing with those that are out to undermine the security of our people and our nation,” Abubakar said.
He expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support to the Nigerian Air Force.
” Let me reassure all Nigerians that the Nigerian Air Force remains fully committed to the successful execution of its constitutional roles.
“It will continue to meet its statutory responsibilities of defending the territorial integrity of the nation, whether singularly, or in unison with the surface forces and other security agencies,” he said.
He said that four NAF students were currently undergoing training with the United States Air Force.
Abubakar said that one of those undergoing training was the first female potential fighter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force.
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, who was represented by the permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Mrs Nuratu Batagarawa, congratulated the pilots for their new wings.
He said that the pilots had every reason to be happy, noting that their new wings marked another chapter in their lives and that of their Liberian colleagues.
Dan-Ali urged the new pilots to remain focused in the “journey of the glorious future ahead.” (NAN)