The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, has tasked officers to generate new ideas and provide innovative solutions that would give competitive advantage to Nigeria over its adversaries. The CAS gave the charge today, 31 August 2018, during the graduation ceremony of the third set of participants of the Nigerian Air Force War College (NAFAWC) Makurdi. The 19 graduating participants, who are of the rank of Wing Commander and its equivalent in the other Services, had undergone 6 months of intensive training in the application of Air Power in both joint and independent operations. They comprised 16 senior officers from the NAF, one from the Nigerian Army (NA) and 2 from the Nigerian Navy (NN).
Speaking during the graduation, Air Marshal Abubakar, who was the Guest of Honour at the ceremony, congratulated the graduating participants for surmounting yet another hurdle in the quest for excellence. He noted that the current NAF leadership placed high premium on capacity building initiatives aimed at developing competencies and skills of personnel of all specialties in order to add value to efforts at ensuring the security of lives and properties of Nigerians. The CAS further stated that the quality of personnel would, to a large extent, determine the effectiveness of the Service in meeting critical considerations for Nigeria’s defence and national security imperatives.
While challenging the graduating participants to bring to bear the skills and lessons acquired during the course in their future deployments, the CAS stressed that they needed to exploit clear and critical thinking to produce vigorous, thoughtful and innovative
approaches, thereby adding value in the way things are done. He opined that the complex battlespace in counterinsurgency and counter terrorism operations, requires precision in targeting as well as effective coordination with surface forces while understanding the limitations of Air Power. The CAS stated that he was happy that the College had adequately equipped the participants with the knowledge to navigate this complex landscape. Speaking further, Air Marshal Abubakar said the Service, on its part, would continue to support the activities of the College, within the limits of available resources, to provide realistic and result-oriented training. According to the CAS, the College was established to bridge the gap in the quality of workforce that transit from the tactical to the operational and strategic levels in the NAF. “I am happy to note that the pioneer graduates of this College who recently graduated from the National Defence College (NDC) performed excellently on the course. I am therefore, optimistic that in the near future, the Service will begin to feel the impact of establishing this College through better application of strategic planning and implementation of doctrines to move the NAF to greater heights”, the CAS said. Air Marshal Abubakar appreciated the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, whose support and exemplary leadership in the face of contending economic priorities made the establishment of the College realizable.
Earlier in his welcome address, the outgoing Commandant of the College, Air Vice Marshal James Baba, thanked the CAS for his initiative and tenacity that led to the establishment of the College on 5 September 2016. He equally expressed the appreciation of the College for the encouragement and support that had enabled it to continue to broaden the knowledge and capacity of successive sets of participants in air operations while also providing impetus for enhanced inter-Service coordination during joint operations. He advised the graduands to continue to build their capacities even after graduation, as knowledge acquisition is a continuous process.
The Air War Course 3/2018 was inaugurated on 15 February 2018 to equip participants with general knowledge on warfare with emphasis on Air Power. The NAFAWC, which is the highest military training institution in the NAF, also seeks to equip officers with in-depth understanding of how to translate national strategic objectives into operational directives. During the Course, participants were taught Air Power Principles and Concepts, Warfare Studies, Fundamentals of Strategy, Warfighting and Wargaming as well as Land and Maritime Warfare Studies.
One of the highlights of the ceremony was the presentation of prizes to participants who had distinguished themselves during the course. Wing Commander Abdullahi Abu received the CAS’ Award for emerging first in order of merit on the course and also bagged the Commandant’s Award for the Best Individual Research Project. Wing Commander Valentine Oraeki won the Best in Air Power Award while Lieutenant Colonel Aliyu Adamu won the CAS’ Award as the Best Graduating Participant from Sister Services.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force