Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has commended the armed forces for its creditable performance in addressing the several security challenges that have continued to threaten the nation.
Dan-Ali gave the commendation during the graduation ceremony of 18 military officers at the Nigerian Air Force War College (AFWC) in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on Tuesday.
Represented by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, the defence minister noted that as a component of the military instrument of national power, the air power has remained a formidable force in the preservation of the nation’s territorial integrity.
“Apart from its war-fighting role, the Nigerian Air Force has, on various occasions, recorded successes particularly in internal security. It has also attracted tremendous goodwill and credibility to the nation through the provision of VIP transport and airlift support for African Union/United Nations peace missions.
“The changing character of warfare infers that for a military force to achieve and maintain the competitive advantage it seeks over its adversaries, it must stay adaptive in the methods and thinking that guide its operations.
“At the heart of attaining competitive advantage, is the ability to be flexible in applying the diversity of thoughts that permeate war and warfare. This must be in ways that exploit clear and critical thinking to produce vigorous, thoughtful and innovative approaches that add value in the way things are done.
He assured that the Federal government of Nigeria, under the leadership of President Mummadu Buhari, will continue to do its best to sustain the current support to the armed forces.
On his part, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, while congratulating the graduands, expressed optimism that having gone through the rigours of the training, they were now better situated and stimulated towards operational thinking that would expand their horizons in military strategy and decision making.
Abubakar urged them to bring the skills and lessons acquired during the course to bear in their future deployments with utmost patriotism.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Commandant, AFWC, AVM Charles Oghomwen, noted that the Air Force War College which is the highest professional military training institution in the Nigerian Air Force, is playing a leading role in the articulation of strategy and doctrine that is guiding the development of air power of the Nigerian Air Force.
He recalled that the decision to establish the college by the Chief of Air Staff was informed by the obvious gaps in the quality of workforce that transit from the tactical to the operational and strategic levels in the Nigerian Air Force.
“This drive has effectively filled the glaring gap for qualitative manpower in the field of air power for the effective conduct of air operations. That today we are graduating the fourth set of participants is a clear indication that the laudable initiative has indeed taken its root for the overall benefit of the NAF and indeed our dear nation,” Oghomwen stated.
Also speaking, acting Governor of Benue State, Mr Benson Abounu, commended the CAS for the various innovation in the NAF including the AFWC which was established during his reign even promised that the state government would continue to avail the NAF, the necessary support in the state.