The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has decorated 13 Air Commodores and 35 Group Captains, who were recently promoted to the next higher ranks of Air Vice Marshal and Air Commodore by the Air Force Council.
The decoration ceremony, which took place at the Headquarters NAF Abuja on Thursday, was witnessed by a large turnout of senior officers, both serving and retired, as well as family members and friends.
While decorating the senior officers, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, charged them to rededicate themselves to the service of Nigeria as they prepare for higher challenges.
According to him, “In the race to add value to the society and secure communities, there should be no finishing line,” he said. “Your promotion will cost taxpayers additional resources and this must translate to additional security for Nigeria and Nigerians”, he added.
Air Marshal Abubakar reiterated that the promotion of the senior officers was premised on their past excellent performances and the resolve of the Service to constantly reward excellence.
The CAS noted further that the increasingly complex and challenging security environment requires the Service to put forward its very best at all times. He therefore, stated that promotion could no longer be business as usual.
In his words, “While time on rank would, understandably, continue to be central, factors such as merit, productivity, establishment vacancy, deployability and, to some extent, geographical spread have combined to raise the bar and make the race even more competitive.”
He applauded the spouses and family members of the newly promoted senior officers, while imploring them to sustain the support they have been giving to enable them excel in their new, higher responsibilities.
He tasked the newly promoted officers to brace up for the challenges ahead, especially in the collective resolve to regenerate the NAF and ensure a secured Nigeria, and also urged them to continue to apply their skills, experience, commitment and time when and wherever required.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Chief of Administration (COA), Air Vice Marshal Kingsley Lar, noted that the occasion was another milestone in the career development of the senior officers, who were able to scale through the painstaking screening process as well as the approval by the Air Force Council.
He noted that elevation comes with higher responsibilities and therefore enjoined the newly decorated officers to be more diligent, committed and accountable in the discharge of their duties as well as in their interactions with their professional colleagues and civilians.