Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has restated the commitment of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to continue to enhance professionalism in order to meet the demands of the nation’s contemporary security challenges.
Abubakar stated this on Tuesday during the graduation ceremony of 23 participants made up of commanders and aspiring commanders from a cross-section of NAF units and specialties from the Command Responsibility Course Course 1/2020 at the Air Force War College (AFWC), in Makurdi, Benue State.
Represented by Chief of Administration, AVM Mohammed Idris, the CAS said the course emanated from the need to address some observed shortcomings that have been perceived in command leadership in the Nigerian Air Force.
“As officers saddled with the arduous tasks of leadership, we are the guardian of our national air domain. As a service tasked with the constitutional mandate to protect the nation by air, a structurally robust, well trained and satisfactorily equipped Nigerian Air Force is critical to meeting this mandate.
He said the Nigerian Air Force is continuously striving to train and restructure in such a way that it can effectively apply airpower in a variety of circumstances whether independently or jointly in support of sister services.
“To this end, the Nigerian Air Force has with the unflinching support of the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, prioritised the acquisition of a mix of aircraft platforms prominent among which are the Super Tucano, Super Mushshack, Mi-35M, Agusta 109P and the MI-17E.
He explained further that the restructuring efforts which he put in place have yielded additional commands, staff branches as well as functionally focused units which have collectively enhanced the reach and responsiveness of NAF.
“Propelled by one of the key drivers of my vision which emphasises human capacity development through robust training, we embarked on a comprehensive and ambitious training drive in the past few years, deepening our expertise and in some cases gaining new competencies.
“The foregoing chronicled our collective endeavour towards the realisation of my vision to reposition the Nigerian Air force into a professional and disciplined force.
“As we envisage the actualisation of the vision, it is necessary to adopt a holistic approach at all levels of leadership to ensure effective military leadership at both the tactical, operational and strategic levels.
“The performance of tactical and operational commanders has emerged as an area requiring attention in our collective effort of engineering an air force that meet our national aspirations.
“A capable and effective air force must be commanded at all levels such that tactical outputs align with strategic objectives. The Command Responsibility Course was thus instituted to enhance and align operational and strategic outputs.
The CAS congratulated all the graduands and expressed the hope that they would form the bedrock of the manpower that would strengthen and positively redirect the trajectory of command in the Nigerian Air Force.
Earlier in his address of welcome, Commandant of the College, AVM Charles Oghomwen said the graduation ceremony formally marked the successful completion of the first ever Command Responsibility Course conducted in this institution.
Oghomwen posited that the course, which had the theme “Empowering Commanders for Effective Administration of Units”, was initiated by HQ NAF pursuant to one of the key drivers of the Chief of the Air Staff’s Vision which is “Human capacity development through robust and result oriented training for enhanced professional performance”.
He stated further that the four week Course sought to address the observed gaps in the quality of command and administration in Nigerian Air Force units which, according to him, was particularly necessary in the light of the complex contemporary security environment and the attendant negative extraneous influence on military personnel.