The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, today, 21 June 2018, commenced a two-day Conference with senior Nigerian Air Force (NAF) officers and commanders of various field units. The Conference, which held at Headquarters NAF, was organized to review the progress made by the NAF since the last similar Conference in December 2017. In addition, the Conference would afford the NAF leadership the opportunity to critically assess the performance of the Service in the past few months and subsequently strategize to evolve innovative ideas to build on existing achievements. The Conference equally provides an avenue to obtain feedback from various field commanders while also keeping them abreast of the policy direction of the Headquarters NAF in the months ahead. As a way of further enriching the knowledge base of the senior officers, opening ceremony featured a presentation by a retired senior NAF officer, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Ishaq Balogun on the topic, “Technology in NAF Transformation and Service Performance: Imperatives of Research and Development”. The paper was discussed by AVM Cletus Udeagulu, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola and retired AVM Salihu Bala-Ribah, after which a stimulating interactive session, which involved members of the audience, took place. The Commandant of the National Defence College Abuja, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo, moderated the interactive session.
Earlier during his opening remarks at the Conference, the CAS noted that the Conference was premised on the need to continuously get feedback from the personnel of the Service, as part of the bottom-to-top approach of the current NAF leadership. Air Marshal Abubakar then took the opportunity to caution the senior officers on the forthcoming 2019 General Elections. He implored the Commanders not to allow themselves to be dragged into partisan politics but rather stay focused on the discharge of the constitutionally assigned tasks of the NAF. The CAS also expressed assurances that the NAF would continue to operate in line with its constitutional mandate while working towards ensuring that the sovereignty of Nigeria is not undermined by any group of individuals. Furthermore, Air Marshal Abubakar disclosed the readiness of the NAF to avail the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) its transport aircraft to enable the expeditious distribution of electoral materials, as had been done in the past, should INEC so requires. He then advised the senior officers to make good use of the knowledge acquired from the presentation by the resource persons, to the benefit of the Service.
In a related development, the CAS, on 20 June 2018, held a one-day retreat for Air Warrant Officers (AWOs) and Regimental Sergeant Majors (RSMs) in the NAF, also at Headquarters NAF. The retreat was predicated on the need to sustain discipline and regimentation in the NAF to further enhance professionalism and efficient service delivery. The event was divided into 2 sessions, with the first session featuring 2 lectures. The first lecture was titled, “Discipline as a Tool for the Success of a Fighting Force” and the other one “Activities of NAF Holding Company: NAF Investment Limited in Perspective”. During the second session, the CAS took adequate time to interact with the AWOs and RSMs and was able to immediately address the challenges presented by them. Meanwhile, the CAS Conference with NAF senior officers and field commanders will continue tomorrow, when it is expected to come to an end.
Air Vice Marshal
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force