The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Special Operations Command (SOC), in line with the established traditions of the Service, held a Regimental Dinner Night at the NAF Officers’ Mess Bauchi yesterday, 5 July 2019. The Regimental Dinner is conducted quarterly in furtherance of one of the key drivers of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar’s, Vision which is “Focus on Comradeship, Regimentation and Inter-Service Cooperation”.
Speaking during the event, the Special Guest of Honour, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Mohammed Baba, expressed delight to be at the Regimental Dinner and commended the NAF for maintaining its noble traditions while sustaining efforts to combat terrorism, armed banditry, kidnaping and other forms of criminality in the country. He said the NAF, under the leadership of Air Marshal Abubakar, had remained focused, dedicated and resilient in carrying out its statutory duties of defending the territorial integrity of the nation in a professional manner. He therefore urged the NAF not to relent in its efforts but sustain the momentum to ensure that Nigeria is safe and secure. “As you continue with these responsibilities, I assure you that, I will further create an atmosphere for cooperation with you and other security agencies in the State”, the Governor added.
Earlier in his remarks, the CAS, while tracing the history and relevance of the Regimental Dinner Night, stated that the tradition began in the 16th Century in England where it was used to honour heroes and celebrate victories in battle. He added that the Dinners also serve as avenues to enhance officers’ observance of etiquette, comradeship, regimentation and inter-Service cooperation in the Nigerian Armed Forces whilst also providing opportunity to unwind and celebrate achievements. He said it was fitting that the Dinner was being hosted to celebrate the achievements of the SOC, which was established to improve the ability of the NAF to respond to emerging demands of the national security environment as well as cover some of the capability gaps observed during NAF participation in counter-insurgency operations. He remarked that the achievements of SOC and its component units, especially the Special Forces personnel, in various Internal Security operations, clearly justified the establishment of the Command. Notwithstanding, he urged personnel of the Command not to rest on their oars in the efforts to secure Nigeria and Nigerians.
Speaking further, Air Marshal Abubakar remarked that the NAF had embarked on aggressive infrastructural development effort to provide better training facilities and decent living accommodation for the improved welfare of personnel. He said the NAF leadership would continue to support training and retraining efforts as well as sustain the focus on improving personnel welfare, especially for those in combat situations. The CAS therefore urged personnel to maintain the training facilities and other infrastructure provided in Bauchi. “You must also endeavor to remain within the ambit of the law and carry out your roles in line with the Rules of Engagement for the various Internal Security operations you are involved in”, he added.
The CAS seized the opportunity to thank the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, for the priority attention given to the training, operational and other requirements of the NAF. He equally thanked the Government and people of Bauchi State for their support and hospitality, especially the immediate host communities of Durum, Malmo and Kuhu, for the conducive working environment and good relations extended to the NAF. The CAS also commended the efforts of the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) SOC for providing the leadership that ensured the continued success of units under the Command.
Other dignitaries in attendance at the Regimental Dinner included officials of the Bauchi State Government, the AOC and principal staff officers of SOC, Commanders and Commandants of NAF units in Bauchi as well as other senior military officers.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force