The Nigerian Airforce on Friday, February 28 inducted no fewer than 117 Special Forces (SF) as part of its efforts to boosting security in the country.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony and Commissioning of ‘Obstacle Course and Rappelling Tower’ at Commando village, NAF base, Bauchi, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the security challenges in the country necessitated the training of more personnel as special operations operatives.
Abubakar, who was represented by Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Grand Training Command, Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Idi Amin, said those operatives enable the force to achieve effects outside the perimeter and additional advantages to confront threats.
“As we all know, the contemporary security challenges we are currently witnessing, necessitated the training of more personnel as Special Operations operatives.
“These operatives enable us to achieve effects outside the perimeter thereby conferring upon us the necessary advantages to confront asymmetric threats,” he said
He said he had desired to transform the NAF into a highly professional force, through capacity building initiatives in response to security urgency in the country.
“I would like to note that since coming on board, I desired to transform the NAF into a highly professional and disciplined force through capacity building initiatives for effective, efficient and timely employment of airpower in response to our national security imperatives.
“One of the key drivers of this vision hinges on human capacity development for improved professional performance,” Abubakar said.
The Chief of Air Staff further appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for priority attention given to the force, adding that the support provided by the Federal Government had positively impacted on the Nigerian Airforce.
He assured the President of the NAF unalloyed loyalty and reiterated its commitment to continuing to supporting the Federal Government in its policy thrust of providing security, improved economy and fighting corruption in the country.
Earlier speaking, Commandant, Regiment Training Centre Annex Bauchi, Wing Commander Kehinde Akinyosade, said, in line with the vision of the Chief of Air Staff, NAF has completed the construction of a 23-course obstacle and rappel tower for the training of special operatives in Bauchi.
He revealed that the course is aimed at equipping trainees with the necessary skills, tactics and procedures required to function effectively as operatives in a NAF Special Operation Force unit.
The commander also revealed that 275 personnel were initially nominated for the special forces screening, however, only 117 personnel comprising 7 officers and 110 airmen/airwomen were inaugurated.
He said 82 were reported to be medically unfit, 67 failed physical examination while nine voluntarily withdrew from the course.