As part of efforts at boosting its operational capability to meet contemporary security challenges, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), has graduated additional fighter pilots.
The graduation, which took place at the 407 Air Combat Training Group (ACTG) Kainji, underscores the importance the current NAF leadership places on human capacity development for improved professional performance, the Director of Public Relations and Information, AVM Olatokunbo Adesanya revealed in a statement.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the Guest of Honour, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Air Training Command, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Mohammed Idris, stated that the graduation of additional combat pilots would boost the efforts of the NAF in the ongoing fight against insurgency and other forms of armed banditry in the country.
Speaking further, the AOC stated that training has always remained a major agent of transformation, noting that 407 ACTG has continued to fulfill its role of training combat ready fighter pilots for the NAF to defend the nation’s territorial integrity by air.
He therefore thanked the CAS for his deep interest, guidance and provision of resources for the conduct of training activities in the NAF. The AOC also expressed his gratitude to the Commander, instructors, officers and airmen/airwomen of 407 ACTG for their contributions towards ensuring the successful completion of the pilots’ training.
AVM Idris congratulated the graduands for being able to complete the combat training programme.
According to him, the rigours of the training were aimed at giving the pilots the requisite foundation and balance to prepare them for greater challenges they would definitely face in the operational squadron. He then reminded them of their importance to operational effectiveness and accordingly urged them to be ready to contribute their quota to enhance operations in the NAF.
Earlier in his opening address, the Commander 407 ACTG, Squadron Leader Gambo Maidawa, disclosed that the Unit has been the hub for producing combat ready pilots for the NAF through the collective efforts of its officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff.
He thanked the CAS for his admirable leadership style, which has spurred them to achieve this great feat and therefore promised to continue to provide purposeful training to actualize the mandate of the Unit. The Commander also appreciated the host community for their understanding and support.
The Tactical Fighter Course 21B, which commenced in April 2017, included the Ground Academics and Flying Phases with the Flying Phase focusing on conversion flying on the Alpha Jet aircraft and tactical flying on the same aircraft.
Additionally, the pilots received training on air-to-ground and air-to-air missions.
Among the dignitaries that graced the occasion were the Emir of Borgu, Barrister Muhammadu Sani Haliru Jikantoro as well as heads of military formations and security agencies.