The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) today held its 2017 Third Quarter meeting
with Branch Chiefs, Air Officers Commanding (AOCs) and Commanders of
various NAF units. The meeting, which was presided over by the Chief
of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, was to review
the progress made by the Service since the last meeting that was held
three months ago. Today’s meeting was also aimed at identifying new
challenges and charting a way forward. In addition, the meeting
afforded the CAS and the Branch Chiefs at NAF Headquarters the
opportunity to intimate field commanders with the current policy
directions in respective fields.

5 (1)
In his opening remarks at the meeting, Air Marshal Abubakar stated
that so much had happened in the NAF in the preceding 3 months. He
stated that reports from units indicated that the NAF was making
substantial progress in the discharge of its constitutional
responsibilities. “Since the last meeting, we have flown over 1,077
hours in Operation LAFIYA DOLE, consuming about 1,032,000 litres of
aviation fuel in the process”, the CAS said. Air Marshal Abubakar also
disclosed that the NAF had made significant progress in the training
of pilots in the last 3 months. For instance, the NAF graduated 16
student pilots at 401 Flying Training School (FTS) Kaduna, adding that
it was the first time in 32 years that the NAF would graduate cadets
from 401 FTS. He said he looked forward to the day that cadets would
qualify as Instructor Pilots, noting that it had happened before and
would happen again. The CAS expressed gladness that aircraft
availability in 401 FTS Kaduna had increased by about 300 per cent
from the three trainer aircraft in 2015. On recruitment, he stated
that the NAF had recruited over 4,900 persons out of which 1,900 had
completed training as airmen/airwomen and deployed to various units
while another 1,500 are undergoing training, with another 1,500
scheduled to commence training afterwards. In addition, 406 have been
enlisted into the Service out of which 206 have been commissioned as
Direct Short Service officers while 200 would commence cadet training
on 16 September 2017.

On humanitarian intervention schemes, the CAS said that, during its
medical outreach programmes, the NAF provided free surgical
interventions to about 133 Internally Displaced Persons out of 201
that were treated. In the same vein, the NAF was already intervening
to provide succour to victims of the recent Makurdi Flood. Similarly,
the NAF projected airpower beyond Nigeria’s territory within the same
period, through its C-130H aircraft that was used to deliver relief
materials to victims of the mudslide in Sierra Leone. Air Marshal
Abubakar attributed the successes recorded to the collective
contributions of all the principal staff officers and field
commanders. He therefore commended them while asking that they
redouble their efforts towards making further progress. He seized the
opportunity to announce that a special operation code named “Op RUWAN
WUTA”, had commenced in the North East. The operation is aimed at
further degrading the capability of remnants of Boko Haram Terrorists
and routing out criminal elements in the North East from their
hideouts. Before the commencement of the meeting, a minute’s silence
was observed in honour of the late Instructor Pilot, Group Captain
Adanu Gabriel Ochai, who died on 24 August 2017 in Kaduna while on an
official mission.



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