By Ajogwu Jerry
Fourteen cadets who recently completed their flying trainings in the African Union Aviation Academy, South Africa and the International Aviation Training School, Illorin were officially commissioned into the Nigerian Air Force on Monday in Abuja.
Out of the 14 fourteen newly winged pilots, 2 officers are cadets of the Liberian Armed Forces.
Speaking at the event, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Air Force to counter the numerous security challenges in the country through training and retraining of personnel.
He said the Nigerian Air Force is poised to deal with insurgency and every act of terrorism in the country.
The CAS tasked the newly winged officers to be mentally prepared and work diligently by learning the rudiments of their profession.
“In realization of our drive for human capacity development through robust and result oriented training for enhanced professional performance, I am pleased that 12 more Nigerian Air Force pilots along with 2 of their Liberian counterparts are being winged today, having concluded their training in Kaduna and Ilorin.
“There are 4 Nigerian Air Force student pilots undergoing training with the United States Air Force and one of them is the first female potential fighter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force.
“In addition, we have one student pilot with the Royal Moroccan Air Force and 4 student Instructor Pilots training at the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
“Coming back home, there are 64 student pilots at various stages of flying training in Nigerian Air Force Flying Training Schools. They are all expected to graduate by the end of this year.
”To the young pilots that are being winged today, I say, be prepared for the task ahead as you fit into the operational flying environment. You must not become complacent, knowing that flying operations require discipline, dedication and a lot of hard work.
“Indeed, your journey to fruitful flying careers is just beginning. You must therefore be mentally prepared for mentoring by your captains and other senior colleagues in the field.
“I urge you not to forget the 3 ‘Ds’ to success, which are Drive, Discipline and Desire in the quest for daily improvement,” he said.
He thanked the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support to the Nigerian Air Force.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director of Operations, Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal NB Bali thanked the Chief of Air Staff for the milestone recorded by the forces under his watch. He maintained that the Nigerian Air Force will continue to train personnel to meet operational needs.
Also speaking at the event, the Honourable Minister of National Defence, Republic of Liberia and Maj. Gen. Daniel Dee Ziankahn Junior (Rtd) thanked the Nigerian Armed Forces for their continuous support to the people of Liberia. He said the Liberian government is forever grateful to Nigeria for their assistance towards the maintenance of peace and security especially during the civil war which he said remains unrelentess till date.
The event which took place at the Nigerian Air Force Headquarters, Abuja had in attendance top Air Force personnel from Nigeria and Liberia, Representatives of other Services, the Chief of Defence Staff, Representative of the Chief of Naval Staff, Nigeria’s Honourable Minister of Defence, Air Officers Commanding, friends and well wishers of the graduands.