One of the imperatives of the current leadership in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is the development and sustenance of self-reliance in the maintenance of critical assets and equipment. This is geared towards ensuring that the NAF, at all times, possesses the appropriate mix and profile of ready assets for effective Air Power delivery, whilst being sensitive to the nation’s economic disposition. In this regard, the NAF has intensified efforts towards achieving in-country training of its aircraft and armament engineers and technicians on some of its existing and newly acquired platforms. The in-country training on Super Mushshak, Diamond 40 and Dornier 228 (Do-228) aircraft is expected to further boost NAF self sufficiency in aircraft maintenance and logistics support in the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony of Do-228/Super Mushshak NAF Type Rating Course (NAFTRAC) 1/2018, which held yesterday, 13 December 2018, in Kaduna, the Chief of Aircraft Engineering, NAF Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Abdulganiyu Olabisi, who represented the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stated that, the bold steps taken to establish the NAF NAFTRAC Secretariat as an in-country training avenue for aircraft and armament engineers and technicians has paid off. He disclosed that the seamless coordination between the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Technical Assistance Team and NAF maintenance personnel to transfer knowledge to the participants was quite commendable considering the short period of their engagement.
The Chief of Aircraft Engineering said the graduating participants would no doubt add value to maintenance activities in engineering units by reducing total aircraft ground time. He further stated that the training, which certified the graduands as aircraft engineers and technicians, would open up the gates of professionalism in the specialist fields of aircraft engineering in the NAF. Given the depth of the scope of the Course, as well as the calibre of resource persons, which included expatriates and experienced aircraft maintenance personnel, both serving and retired, AVM Olabisi said it would be safe to say that the graduands had received quality type rating training on the DO-228 and Supermushshak aircraft. He therefore applauded the initiative of the CAS in approving the in-country courses which would boost NAF logistics support.
In his welcome address, the Commander 431 Engineering Group, Air Commodore Abubakar Sule, said the graduation marks another milestone in the history of the Group, being the first DO-228 NAFTRAC to be held in 5 years, and the first NAFTRAC on the Super Mushshak and Diamond 40 aircraft. He stated that the Group took advantage of the presence of the PAF Technical Assistance Team to conduct the Course. He disclosed that the entire training programme was divided into 3 phases; namely Aircraft General and Maintenance Safety/Management Phase, Detailed Aircraft Systems and Demonstrations/Practical Phase and lastly the On-the-Job Training Phase. A total of 74 personnel participated in NAFTRAC 1/2018; 54 on the 16-week Do-228 Course and 20 on the 8-week Super Mushshak Course. One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of awards to participants who had distinguished themselves on the Course. The Graduation Ceremony was attended by the Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command, AVM Mohammad Suleiman, along with other senior officers.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force