FROM PAUL ORUDE, BAUCHI
The Nigerian Air Force says the inauguration of the Electronic Shooting Range to improve the shooting skills of troops and ensure victory over terrorism, militancy and other forms of armed banditry in the country.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar stated this on Tuesday during the Commissioning of the Electronic Shooting Range, Air-force Primary School, Non-Commissioned Officers’ Mess, Senior Non-Commissioned Officers’ mess, and NAF Officers Mess projects at the 215 Base Services Group Bauchi.
He said an essential skill for all Nigeria Air-Force personnel be it ground or air crew, is good weapon handling and marksmanship.
According to him, “building the skills of our personnel in weapon handling becomes particularly important in view of the security challenges in the country.
“As we battled with terrorism , militancy we must re position the Nigeria Air-force to adequately respond to these threats and this informed our decision to establish the electronic shooting range across Nigeria Air-Force bases to help sharpen the personnel weapons handling of our personnel”
The Air Force Chief said the Nigerian Air-force already has an electronic Rnage in its base in Kaduna “and we are commissioning one here in Bauchi and soon we will commission another one in Port Harcourt,” he said.
Abubakar said that the Elecronic Range of the Nigerian Air-force are State-of-the-Art Equipment comparable to that obtained any where in the best military around the world.
“The Electronic Range offers a major advantage of eliminating logistic requirements often associated with small armed range specifications and also have the advantage of saving cost cost.
“Similarly it eliminates the need for mass movement of personnel to and from actual range sites with attendance cost and implications.
“The electronic range provides personnel with the opportunity to easily see their performance and make necessary corrections in improving their marksmanship,
“We have trained a number of personnel abroad to handle and conduct the required training for handling the electronic Range and it is my sincere hope that the Special Operation Command will take advantage of these equipment in enhancing the personnel handling weapon skills of especially those in the command”
Bauchi State Governor Mohammed Abubakar, who commsioned the projects, acknowledged the contributions of the Nigeria Air fore in enhancing national security and restoring peace to the North East region in particular, and the country in general.
I have noted with admiration the steps being taken by the current leadership of the Nigeria Air-force to re-position the service into a highly professional one with human capacity building initiatives at the core of its endeavours.
“I am convinced that it is in keeping with this lofty aspirations that the leadership of the Nigeria Air-force thought it wise to build an Electronic Range, Messes and a Primary School for its personnel.
“The facilities will go a long way in handling the weapon handling skills of your personnel as well as meeting their social and recreational needs and the educational needs of their children and wards.
“This will no doubt have multiplying effects on their fighting ability towards fulfilling your statutory role of ensuring the security of this nation”
The governor then thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief of Air-force, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for extending the presence of the Nigeria Air force to the state and pledged the support and commitment of the state government to ensure the smooth operations of the Nigeria Air force Base saying they are partners in progress.