Published on Nov 16, 2017 Greenbarge Reporters
The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) has graduated four young fighter pilots from its 403 Flying Training School (403 FTS) Kano, as part of the build up to eliminate Boko Haram insurgents and other security challenges in the country.
The young pilots had earlier completed Basic Flying Course in the United Kingdom and are prepared fully to join in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, cattle rustling in the North West and other forms of criminalities.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented at the graduation ceremony by the Air Officer Commanding, Air Training Command, Air Vice Marshal Christopher Okoye, said that today, most of the pilots flying NAF platforms, including the C-130 aircraft, are flight lieutenants and flying officers.
The CAS said that following extensive training, platform acquisition and reactivation of grounded aircraft fleet, the NAF could more satisfactorily fulfil its statutory roles across the broad spectrum of national air power tasks.
Air Marshal Abubakar said that some of the NAF’s L-39ZA aircraft had been modified into combat aircraft, as part of efforts to enhance the combat readiness of the NAF.
“The rebuilding process continues to further enhance our manpower capacity as well as status of the NAF fleet.
“This achievement could not have been possible without the continuous support of the Federal Government.”
He charged the graduating fighter pilots to be selfless as they get set to start discharging their services to the country and the NAF.
“This is a day to feel proud and to congratulate yourselves on your hard work and achievements. However, it also presents a time when you must begin to prepare yourselves to justify the efforts and resources expended on your training up to this stage.
“Remember to whom much is given much is expected. Therefore, as you assume your next responsibilities in the NAF as operational pilots, there is a demand on you to reflect the quality of training received both at home and abroad.”
Highlights of the ceremony included an aerial display by instructor and graduating pilots while those who distinguished themselves on the Jet Training Course in various categories were honoured.
It could be recalled that the NAF only recently, graduated 16 ab-initio student pilots, including two female cadets from 401 Flying Training School, Kaduna. The decision of the CAS, on assumption of office, to make capacity building the focus of his administration, is certainly yielding good fruits, as the NAF increasingly becomes more robust and combat ready.
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