The Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, in a statement, disclosed that Nigerian Air Force has graduated another set of helicopter fighter pilots to boost its manpower and operational requirements
The 13 graduating pilots were trained on tactical and combat operations to boost the fight against insurgency and other criminalities across the country.
The statement read in part, “the efforts of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to provide qualitative manpower to meet its operational requirements in tackling various security challenges in the country have received a further boost with the graduation of a set of 13 pilots who have successfully completed their tactical and combat training.
“The combined Graduation Ceremony of Tactical Helicopter Course 1/2019 and Tactical Fighter Courses 23 and 24A, which took place today, 21 December 2019, at the NAF Base Makurdi comprised 5 Agusta 109EM helicopter pilots and 8 Alpha Jet pilots.
“The Graduation Ceremony was preceded by an Air Range Exercise which involved live firing from Agusta 109EM helicopters and Alpha Jets by the graduating pilots at Kwernev Air Range, Makurdi, with the pilots displaying the effectiveness of their training and targeting/weapon delivery skills scoring accurate hits on the targets with their rockets and cannons”.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who spoke at the graduation ceremony expressed satisfaction at the production of combat-rated helicopter and fighter pilots for the Service at 2 of the NAF’s vital training Units which are the 405 Helicopter Combat Training Group (405 HCTG), Enugu and the 407 Air Combat Training Group (407 HCTG), Kainji.
According to him, “the graduation of the helicopter pilots was as a result of the reorganization of the 405 HCTG to enable it bridge the gap of insufficient combat-rated helicopter pilots in the NAF.
He added that “the Unit was now well positioned to continue supplying all NAF combat helicopter platforms with tactically trained pilots, while 407 Air Combat Training Group (407 ACTG) would continue to provide the Service with combat-rated fighter pilots on the Alpha Jet.
“The combined efforts of these Units, had ensured the constant supply of adequately trained pilots to meet the operational needs of the NAF. He noted that this was a testament to the collective efforts “To reposition the NAF into a highly professional and disciplined force through capacity building initiatives for effective, efficient and timely employment of air power in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives”.
Air Marshal Abubakar charged the graduating pilots to strive to use their skills to add value to the units where they would be deployed.
#Editted By Christiana Dan