The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on Tuesday assured that the service would continue to provide the best training for Nigeria Air Force personnel to enhance their professionalism and efficiency in the defence of the nation.
Abubakar gave the assurance during the graduation of Instructor Pilots, Captains and first pilots at the NAF 401 Flying Training School (FTS), on Tuesday in Kaduna.
The Air Chief also inaugurated the Hall of Fame which would showcase the pilots that have passed through 401 FTS.
He said already, some of NAF instructors and student pilots from the 403 Flying Training School Kano are in the Czech Republic on training.
“Another set of pilots are doing a conversion on the Mi-171 helicopter in the Czech Republic while our helicopter pilots in MI-35 are able to conduct training with Azerbaijan Air Force,” Abubakar said.
“I want to assure you that the NAF will continue to do everything humanly possible to provide you with the best training both within and outside Nigeria.
“Today we are very excited to witness the graduation of instructor pilots, captains and officers in the flying training school.
“I’m indeed delighted with the progress the school has made so far in the last few years.
“As a matter of fact, since it was established, all of us that have been in the system for some time went through the same flying school.
“I am excited that so many people have passed through this great institution and we are very proud in terms of the quality of the training of students that have passed through this great school.
“There is no doubt this institution has produced so many fighters, helicopter and transport pilots that are flying in various theatres of conflicts within Nigeria and adding value to ensure that Nigeria is secured and our territorial integrity is not undermined.”
He noted that another set of student pilots has commenced training at the school.
The Air Chief congratulated the pilot for showing courage, commitment and determination during the training and urged them to use their experiences in facing the challenges associated with their new flying status.
“However you must all know that being instructors, you are hereby entrusted with equipment worth millions of dollars, as well as human lives.
“Therefore, I expect you to be professional and use the knowledge you have acquired in the last few months and also put in your best so that we can all celebrate success.
“You will be concerned with aircraft, issues of weather factors, flight regulations and flying control procedures and you must ensure you adhere to these procedures and also conduct yourselves as professional pilots.
“We have no doubt in the confidence we have in you and in terms of capacity of 401 to produce highly professional pilots that will not only instruct our cadets coming out from NDA, but will put in their best to train very competent and professional aircrew that will deal with some of the security challenges we are facing in the country.”
Abubakar expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for his support to the air force, which enabled it to regain its lost glory.
“Today, we are not only able to project air power both within and outside Nigeria but we have also built capacity to protect our air assets.
“For us officers and men of the service, we must put in our best to appreciate the gesture extended to us by the President.
“We must take care of all equipment entrusted to us and we must conduct ourselves as professional airmen and airwomen,” Abubakar said.