The Nigerian Air Force said the British Military Assistant Training Team has assisted the Service in the training of Regiment personnel as well as over 2,000 Special Forces to enhance Force Protection capabilities of the Nigerian Air Force.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, made this know during the NAF Day 2019 Lecture on Saturday in Abuja.
The Lecture is one of the activities lined up by the NAF to celebrate its 55th anniversary.
The air chief noted that the Service has grown in size, spread and equipment holding in a bid to fulfill its statutory obligations of protecting and defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria from the air.
He said: “In the area of force protection, the British Military Assistant Training Team has assisted the Nigerian Air Force in the training of Regiment personnel as well as over 2,000 Special Forces to enhance Force Protection capabilities of the Nigerian Air Force.”
Abubakar noted that the service was also doing so much in further developing and improving her capacity for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions.
He said: “This era also had the Nigerian Air Force expanding its reach through establishment of units in many of the troubled areas such as Zurmi Local Government of Zamfara, Nguroje in Taraba, Agatu in Benue among others.
“Albeit, these efforts may not yield expected results if proper integration with sister Services; which form the Land and Sea components of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, is not achieved.”
The air chief said that the choice theme is apt, relevant and timely “in view of contemporary challenges the nation is facing’’.
He said: “Our gathering at an intellectual forum like this will go a long way in eliciting cogent resolutions that will pave way for a seamless integration of our operations.”
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued show of uncommon commitment to meeting the needs of the Nigerian Air Force.
In his remarks, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, represented by Peter Ashibe, the Director Air Force, in the ministry of Defence, said the NAF had transformed over the years.
Dan-Ali said: “Appraising NAF activities in retrospect while keeping current realities in mind, it gives me great joy to note the speedy rate at which the NAF has metamorphosed into an efficient arm of the Armed Forces of Nigeria’’.
“Its fortunes have steadily improved operationally and administratively to the extent that the Nigerian Air Force of today is progressively building capacity and capabilities to effectively respond to internal security challenges, while efficiently projecting air power in defence of Nigeria’s territorial integrity.’’
The minister thanked Abubakar for the great strides and numerous successes recorded so far by the NAF.
He said: “The tremendous successes the Service has achieved under your watch, most especially in the enhancement of the welfare of personnel, conduct of air operations, manpower development and overall service delivery are really remarkable.”