The Nigerian Air Force says it has trained more than 90 operational pilots in three years as part of renewed effort to reposition the service for effective performance.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar, disclosed this on Tuesday at the graduation ceremony of Basic Flying Course -18 held at the 403 Flying Training School, Kano.
He said in addition, 27 student pilots were undergoing flying training at 401 Flight Training School while another six students departed for helicopter training in South Africa.
Abubakar said: “Furthermore, about 700 Special Forces personnel are for defence of NAF mission critical assess while many are undergoing engineering and other specialised Air Force related training, both at home and abroad.”
According to him, some NAF personnel are also undergoing various training in overseas institutions as part of commitment to reposition NAF into becoming a highly professional and disciplined force.
He said: “This is why we have continued to support those activities that give you the requisite knowledge, skills and exposure to better fulfil your tasks.”
He assured the nation that NAF personnel would continue to do their best in addressing the security challenges facing the country in different locations.
He said: “NAF will continue to meet its statutory responsibility of defending the territorial integrity of the country.”
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support to NAF, saying that the successes recorded so far would not have been possible without the support of the Federal Government.
While calling on the graduands to justify the efforts and the resources spent on them, he urged them to be ready to serve in any part of the country they might be deployed.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commander, 403 Flying Training School, Kano, Group Capt. NN Ananaba, commended the Chief of Air Staff for his continuous support to the training school.
He said seven of the graduands received their training at home while one was trained in the United States of America.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that high points of the occasion were the winging of the pilots and aerial display among others.