In a move targeted at further enhancing the operational effectiveness of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has just concluded a series of operational visits to NAF units in the Lagos Area. Units visited included the 631 Aircraft Maintenance Depot (ACMD), 651 Base Services Group (BSG), 661 NAF Hospital, all in Ikeja as well as 041 Communications Depot in Shasha. On 30 May 2018, Day One of the operational visit, the CAS inspected 2 x NAF C-130 Hercules aircraft that were undergoing Periodic Depot Maintenance and Life Extension Programme respectively at 631 ACMD, towards restoring both aircraft to serviceability. He interacted with expatriates who were undertaking the major aircraft maintenance activities, in conjunction with NAF aircraft engineers and technicians. Air Marshal Abubakar expressed satisfaction with the progress of work, especially as there were indications that the maintenance works would be completed within the scheduled period. He then took the time to visit the class where NAF aircraft engineers and technicians were receiving technical instructions aimed at building their capacity to undertake similar major aircraft maintenance activities in the nearest future, as part of the capacity building initiatives of the current NAF leadership. Furthermore, the CAS inspected the various workshops and group support equipment in the Unit with a view to ascertaining the levels of progress on various reactivation works.
At 651 BSG, Air Marshal Abubakar inspected several ongoing projects aimed at enhancing the welfare of personnel. The projects included a block of 10 x single room flats for single officers and 6 blocks of 3-bedroom flats for married officers, among others. Thereafter, the CAS visited the various wards at 661 NAF Hospital, where he inspected the state of facilities in the hospital. He also inspected the proposed site for the relocation of the hospital. The planned relocation of the hospital is to accommodate the acquisition of additional sophisticated medical equipment to upgrade the hospital. This is to boost medical care for NAF personnel, dependants and members of the civil populace within the host community, as a way of optimizing service delivery.
On Day 2 of the visit, the CAS commissioned the newly constructed and well furnished transit accommodation at 041 Communications Depot Shasha. The transit accommodation, which was designed to accommodate a total of 120 airmen and airwomen, would take care of the personnel that had just been recruited to enhance the operational effectiveness of the NAF. While commissioning the new accommodation, Air Marshal Abubakar stated that the NAF Base at Shasha was of priority and that more needs of the Base would be attended to after the 2018 Appropriation Bill had been signed into law. Accordingly, he promised that both educational and medical facilities on the Base would be further improved. He then seized the opportunity to express the appreciation of the NAF to President Buhari and leaders of the other arms of government for the tremendous support that the NAF continued to enjoy. Earlier in his welcome address, the Commander of 041 Communications Depot, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, thanked the CAS for the unprecedented infrastructural development being witnessed at NAF Base Shasha. He added that the impact of the projects was not limited to the NAF personnel and their dependants, as members of the host community were happy to be equal beneficiaries of NAF presence in Shasha.
While in Lagos, the CAS also attended the opening ceremony of the International Maritime Conference organized by the Nigerian Navy on 31 May 2018. Air Marshal Abubakar and his team of senior NAF officers have since returned to continue work at Headquarters NAF.
Air Vice Marshal
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force