The Nigerian Air Force says it initiated Military Working Dogs’ Operation, to boost security of NAF assets nationwide.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar, made the disclosure during the graduation of NAF K-9 handlers at NAF base Kaduna on Friday.
He said the military dogs would also be deployed in aid of civil authority especially in times of disaster.
Abubakar said that the military dogs operation was introduced after a gap analysis conducted to ascertain necessary requirements for the protection of all NAF assets.
According to him, the gap analysis revealed that the Service was in dire need of a holistic capacity development programme, including specialised directorates charged with the responsibilities of security, law enforcement and base defence.
He said: “The Air Provost, being one of such directorates, has received and is still receiving attention in this regard. Today’s event signifies one of the fields in which the capacity of the Air Provost Specialty is being developed.
“The personnel before you, have undergone a 13-week intensive advanced K-9 training, with 10 weeks of the training conducted at the Paramount K-9 facility overseas, and 3 weeks conducted in-country, to situate the skill sets acquired to our local requirements.
“Among the Military Working Dogs and handlers graduating today, 10 are trained in explosive detection, five are narcotic detection dogs, while five are special operations dogs capable of explosive or narcotic detection, as well as tracking of adversary movements and positions within an area of operation.”
Abubakar said NAF had earlier in 2016 inducted 20 Military Working Dogs with narcotics and explosive detection capabilities.
According to him, the import of inducting special operations dogs in the second batch of training, was to provide the Air Provost with the capacity and capability to conduct specialized policing functions in support of the Special Operations Command.
He disclosed that a new K-9 wing under the 057 Provost Investigation Group has been established in Bauchi, with state-of-the-art facilities for K-9 development and administration.
The air chief added that the the K-9 holding would be increased with 20 more Special Operations Dogs.
He said: “That would increase the Provost’s potential to detect, track and provide early warning of adversary positions while also providing the psychological effects of dogs on adversaries.
“Thus, K-9 development is projected to be a force multiplier to the operational exploits of the NAF’s aircrew and ground personnel.”
Abubakar noted that the recent establishment of the Air Police Training Centre at Kerang in Plateau, was to increase the extent and depth of Police training in the NAF.
He said: “It is planned that when the centre becomes fully operationalized, it will provide the needed impetus to boost the capacity of NAF Provost personnel, as well as those from sister security agencies.”
The air chief expressed gratitude and continued loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the enabling environment for the service to overcome its challenges and set new ground for its operations.
Earlier, Air Provost Marshall, NAF Headquarters, Air Cmdr Ahmad Bakari, explained that increased nexus and symbiotic nature of security threats made it imperative to identify and adopt new security solutions to overcome any security threat.
Bakari said one the security solutions is the use of military dogs to detect and deter threats.
He added since the introduction of K-9 operation in the air police corps, it has actively engaged in various security and law enforcement drives in NAF bases across the country.