By Mohammad Tijjani
Kaduna – The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall, Sadiq Abubakar, on Thursday says the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had trained no fewer than 2,251 of its personnel in Force Protection in Complex Air and Ground Environment (FP-CAGE), since 2015.
Abubakar made the disclosure during the combined graduation of 769 personnel of Basic Regiment officers course, Advance Regiment Airmen course and Basic Regiment Airmen course 2018 after 90 days of training, at the Regiment Training Center NAF Base in Kaduna.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was in partnership with British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT) and the Four Troop Team of Israel.
“Tioday, we are graduating a total of 626 NAF Regiment personnel, 134 personnel of Air Police and 9 Intelligence specialties.
“This is remarkable, because it is our deliberate policy to train personnel of regiment, air police and intelligence specialties together for complimentary roles in the Base Defence Architecture.
”In this light, let me acknowledge the contributions of our training partners – British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT) and the Four Troop Team for the great jobs that they are doing,” he said.
Abubakar said since the NAF entered into partnership with these training teams, particularly BMATT in 2015 to train our personnel in Force Protection in Complex Air and Ground Environment (FP-CAGE), “we have so far trained 2,251 personnel in this regard.
“I am therefore happy to note that the collaboration between our organisations have been mutually beneficial.
”Since my assumption of office, the Nigerian Air Force has continued to build a sustainable and functional air force that will be highly responsive to our contemporary security challenges.
”We have continued to invest in capacity building aimed at generating combat forces capable of securing own bases against all forms of hostile elements.
”Accordingly, we have undertaken several air and ground related capacity building initiatives.”
He said this is to significantly enable the NAF to have depth, flexibility and capability to operate either singly or jointly with sister Services and other security agencies.
He added that the desire to make the NAF the best in the sub region necessitates new platforms, equipment and specialised training.
He also disclosed that within available resources of government, the NAF has enjoyed tremendous support of government.
”On our part, we will continue to support Federal Government policies and continue to conduct operations ranging from humanitarian services, peace enforcement to counter insurgency operations in furtherance of our national security and developmental objectives.”
The Air Chief commended the participants for their “hard work to get to this moment through your commitment, high discipline and determination through which you have met the standard required and you should be proud of what you have achieved.
”I therefore, congratulate you all. I am sure you have imbibed the attributes of the military profession which include absolute loyalty, discipline, honesty, intelligence, physical fitness, accountability, decisiveness, teamwork, and courage among other values.”
Abubakar reminded them that they may be deployed to the field at a time when the nation is facing security challenges.
”You must not allow yourself to be used by disgruntled elements in the society. Also, you must submit yourselves to the civil authority and protect our democracy.
”Our administration is committed to enthroning professionalism and as such, the rigorous military training you received was designed to enhance your professional performance.
”I therefore implore you to put all that you have learnt while on this course to maximum use to safeguard lives and property within your area of responsibility,” he said.
The Air Chief assured President Muhammadu Buhari that the NAF would continue to make judicious use of the resources entrusted in their care.
”The NAF pledges unalloyed support towards the Federal Government policy thrust to improve the economic, social and political development of the country,” Abubakar said.
He commended the BMATT and especially the Detachment Commander of No 5 Royal Air Force, Force Protection Wing, Wing-Cdr. Kevin McMudro, for his dedication, hard work and commitment, and also the Four Troop Team of instructors for their resilience and dedication in the training of NAF personnel.
Earlier the Commandant, Regiment Training Centre, Wing Cdr. Steven Sekegor, said the RTC courses were restructured to make it more effective and efficient in training personnel to meet the ever changing complexities of military operations either during war or in peace time roles.
Sekegor also said to further improve their level of understanding, the students embarked on tours to Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Jaji, Nigerian Army School of Artillery, Kachia, Shere Hills, Jos, and Defence Corporation of Nigeria, Kaduna.
He also disclosed that the students were further exposed to Jungle and Sahel warfare. (NAN)