The operational capability of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has just received a boost with the graduation of 25 student pilots at the 401 Flying Training School (FTS) Kaduna. The event, which took place on 26 June 2018, barely 2 months after 18 student pilots graduated from the same school, is another giant stride in the human capacity development efforts of the current NAF leadership. It is part of the repositioning process in the NAF, in line with the vision of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to ensure the availability of well-trained and highly skilled manpower to combat the security challenges in the country.
Speaking during the occasion, the Guest of Honour and Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Air Training Command, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Adamu Idris, disclosed that the NAF would continue to strive to meet the Nation’s security demands through robust and result oriented training for enhanced service delivery. He congratulated the graduating pilots for their intellect, courage and determination and urged them to sustain the tempo and attitude in their subsequent flying training. The AOC expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the CAS for his continuous support to the Command, noting that the timely provision of much needed training requirements and guidance by NAF Headquarters had provided the desired impetus for the Command to strive towards excellence. “On our part, we shall continue to be steadfast in our loyalty to the nation and provide the enabling environment for peace and prosperity”, the AOC said.
In his opening address, the Commander 401 FTS, Group Captain Ahmed Dari, after giving highlights of the ab-initio course, said that 401 FTS had received a tremendous boost in its flying training capability with the acquisition of the Super Mushshak and additional Diamond 40 aircraft, in the last 3 years. As a result, he said, the School had graduated a total of 68 students, 50 on the Diamond 40 aircraft and 18 on Super Mushshak aircraft, since the inception of the current NAF leadership. Speaking further, he disclosed that, aside from ab-initio training, the School had conducted Instructor Pilot training for 4 pilots and conversion course for 3 Instructor Pilots on the Super Mushshak aircraft. He therefore expressed the appreciation of 401 FTS to the CAS for his support and leadership, which had enabled the School to turn out 2 sets of student pilots within the Second Quarter of 2018.
A total of 31 NAF cadets from the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna commenced the ab-initio flying training course on 12 October 2017 with 25 successfully completing the course, one of who is a female officer, Flying Officer Chinelo Nwokoye. The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of awards to students who had distinguished themselves during the course. Flying Officer Silas Solomon was the Best All Round student and Best in Academics while Flying Officer Paul Onuh emerged the Best in Flying.
Air Vice Marshal
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force