Raphael Ede, Enugu
The Nigerian Air Force, on Wednesday, carried out the ground-breaking of its Ground Training Command Headquarters in Enugu.
Speaking in a ceremony that attracted ‘Who is Who’ in Enugu, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, disclosed that insurgents in the North East have been reduced to elements that now seek soft targets in motor parks, places of worship and markets.
Abubakar who stated that the operational capacity of the Air Force has tremendously improved under this administration, said they are working with other sister Services round the clock to flush out the remnants of the terrorists while preventing them from regrouping.
“NAF has continually conducting surveillance missions and following it up with consistent aerial bombardments of the remnants of the Boko Haram fighters, causing them to abandon their strongholds. These sustained air operations has led to the liberation of more people erstwhile abducted by the insurgents.”
The Air Chief said the establishment of the new Ground Training Command in Enugu, was part of the restructuring efforts by the service to enhance effective and efficient projection of air power.
He said that another one Air Training Command was also established with Headquarters in Kaduna, stressing that these commands have brought to the total number of Commands in the NAF to six.
He said that the GTC would responsible for the implementation of local ground training policies for the NAF.
“Recently through one of the schools under this Command, graduated a record number of 1,544 recruits and 195 direct short service course, DSSC officers.
“This was made possible by the recent expansion of the training facilities at the MTC to train up to 2,500 recruits at a time as against the initial capacity of 500.
“As a result, the NAF has successfully trained about 7,500 recruits along with 400 DSSC officers between July 2015 and today. This shows that we have not relented in the area of capacity building, as the NAF has embarked on an extensive training of its personnel across all specialties”, he said.
Marshal Abubakar, however, thanked the courage and sense of patriotism of his officers, airmen and airwomen, stressing that they were fighting to defend the territorial integrity and those values of freedom, pursuit of prosperity and respect for human dignity which according to him “we hold dear as a nation in various theatres of operation”.
At the event, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, promised to partner with the security agencies to ensure that Enugu State is peaceful and secure.
He commended the Air Force for picking Enugu State for the establishment of the Headquarters of the GTC command.