The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has graduated another batch of Regiment personnel trained by the British Military Advisory and Training Team (BMATT) at the Regiment Training Centre (RTC), Kaduna. The combined graduation ceremony, which took place yesterday, 13 June 2018 witnessed the graduation of hundreds of additional Regiment personnel, comprising officers and airmen/airwomen, who had completed various specialized courses namely Basic Regiment Officers’ Course, Advanced Regiment Airmen’s Course and Basic Regiment Airmen/Airwomen’s Course. Also graduated along the Regiment personnel were nearly 200 personnel of Air Police and Air Intelligence Specialties. With the graduation, the NAF’s combat readiness to meet the asymmetric and dynamic security challenges confronting the country would be further boosted.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Guest of Honour, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed that the NAF would continue to develop requisite capabilities to match its roles, whether conventional or asymmetric. The CAS further stated that the NAF would continue to build a highly sustainable and functional air force that would be highly responsive and decisive to have depth, flexibility and capability to operate either alone or in conjunction with surface forces. According to him, the NAF would also continue to conduct a wide range of operations, from humanitarian assistance and peace enforcement to counterinsurgency operations, in furtherance of national security and development objectives. Air Marshal Abubakar disclosed that the NAF was focused on reinvigorating capabilities that had declined, developing new capabilities for the changing security environment and adapting processes to reflect the broader range of security requirements aimed at generating combat forces to secure own bases against all forms of hostile elements.
On the training package, the CAS revealed that since November 2015, the NAF had commenced a 5-year training collaboration with the BMATT, aimed at training NAF Regiment personnel on Force Protection in Complex Air and Ground Environments (FP-CAGE). Of recent, the Air Provost and Intelligence Specialties were incorporated into the course for better synergy in force protection and appropriate delineation of responsibilities for complementary roles in the Base Defence Architecture. The CAS observed that the training, which holds at RTC twice a year, had resulted in the training of well over one thousand personnel. He therefore commended personnel of BMATT for their dedication, hard work and commitment to the FP-CAGE training package at the RTC. While congratulating the graduands for their commitment, self-discipline and determination throughout the course, the CAS urged them to imbibe the attributes of the military profession, which include absolute loyalty, discipline, honesty, intelligence, physical fitness, motivation, accountability, judgment, decisiveness, teamwork and courage among other values. He therefore implored them to put all that they had learnt while on the course to maximum use to safeguard lives and properties within their areas of responsibilities. “You must not allow yourself to be used by disgruntled elements in the society and you must also submit yourselves to the civil authority and protect our democracy,” he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commandant RTC, Group Captain Isaac Subi, stated that RTC had restructured its curriculum for more effective and efficient training to meet the ever changing complexities of military operations either during war or in peace time. He also disclosed that the training module included practical demonstrations, film shows and field exercises covering wide range of counterterrorism drills, commando fighting tactics, airfield defence, force protection and close quarter battle in an environment of uncertainty. The Commandant thanked the CAS for his support and for trusting the Centre to actualize his desire to build requisite capacity for the NAF.
The graduation ceremony was preceded by a field demonstration of some of the skills acquired by the graduands while on the course. The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of awards to graduands that distinguished themselves during the course. Two female personnel, Aircraftwomen Adejimi TB and Depriye BK, were among the awardees that performed excellently during the course.