The Nigerian Air Force(NAF), Tuesday winged another female pilot alongside ten others in Abuja with a charge on them to respond swiftly wherever they are called upon in the defence of the sovereignty and interests of the nation.
The winging ceremony which held at the service headquarters in Abuja, brings to 114 the total number of pilots winged so far in the last four years and are currently engaged in operations in different theaters across the country.
In his address at the occasion, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, while urging the young pilots to remain disciplined and constantly develop a balance critical thinking, leadership skills and the right attitude, reminded them
that the art of flying goes beyond the innate technical ability that earned them wings.
“You are obliged to possess the desire to learn and must always pay attention to details so as to avoid errors as there is no room for errors in the sky. You must develop the ability to remain calm under pressure.
He also charged them to abide by the provisions stipulated in the Local Operating Procedures (LOPs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and stay away from harmful narcotic substances.
He said “The current National security situation requires that we remain highly committed and focused. We must be willing, able and ready always. I therefore urge you to be ready to respond swiftly wherever and whenever you are called upon in the defence of our National sovereignty and interests”,
While expressing delight over the successful training of the young pilots, Abubakar, said the NAF would continue to fulfill its constitutional mandate by improved its operational capacity through training and retraining.
While noting that the winging marked another milestone in the history of the NAF, ABUBAKAR pointed out that in the last four years, the service has remained resolute in conscientiously developing human capacity of both aircrew and non-aircrew through qualitative training to adequately reposition the Service for timely employment of Air Power in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives.
He said “the 12 pilots winged today had their flying training both in Nigeria and abroad, and have completed the 9 months comprehensive flying training programme. I am happy that we have among the 12 the second ever female helicopter pilot”.
He said “as at May 5, 2020, the NAF had successfully winged a total of 114 pilots since July 2015 while another 26 student pilots were currently undergoing or scheduled to begin basic flying training abroad.
“Upon completion of their training, one would become the second ever female fixed-wing fighter pilot in the NAF, while the other would graduate as the first ever female Qualified Flight Instructor (QFI) in the 56 years history of the Service. We have equally increased capacity for in-country flying training. At the moment, there are also 39 student pilots undergoing various stages of training in NAF flying schools”.
He reassured that the NAF workday remain committed to the successful execution of its constitutional roles even as he thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, for providing the enabling environment for the NAF to effectively discharge its constitutional mandate professionally and responsibly in the face of harsh economic realities.