Posted by News Express | 6 December 2020 | 608 times
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has graduated a fresh batch of 203 Special Forces and Combat Search and Rescue Personnel (CSAR).
The combined graduation ceremony, which took place on Saturday at the Regiment Training Centre (RTC) Annex in Bauchi, comprised 162 students of the SF Course 7/2020 and 41 trainees of CSAR Course 3/2020.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, charged the graduating participants to bring to bear the professional skills acquired, in the ongoing campaign to restore normalcy to restive parts of the country.
According to him, the personnel were graduating at a time when the NAF and indeed the Nation were in dire need of their special skills.
“Your job will not be an easy one as you would be required to operate under austere conditions and in hostile environments to ensure that the NAF achieves its objectives,” he said.
He further stated that, in order to bridge the capability gap in SF and CSAR operations, the NAF established the Special Operations Command (SOC) with its Headquarters in Bauchi and Quick Response Groups/Wings (QRG/QRW) in Gusau, Owerri, Ipetu-Ijesha, Daura, Birnin Gwari, Agatu, Gembu and Lafia, amongst others.
Air Marshal Abubakar disclosed that the NAF had, subsequently, trained over 1,200 personnel both overseas and locally in its bid to generate SF and CSAR teams to man the established units.
According to him, international training partners were also engaged to train NAF personnel in order to sustain SF training in the NAF.
Since its inception, the CAS said, the NAF SF has been used effectively for force protection, force projection as well as Base Defence, amongst others.
“I am happy to note here today that our SF personnel have performed commendably well when deployed in conjunction with other security agencies in various theatres of operation. Their performance has proven that enhancing the capacity and capability of our personnel is the best way of ensuring the attainment of our operational goals and objectives”, he said.
The consideration to train CSAR operatives locally, the CAS revealed, was as a result of insufficient training slots and high cost of overseas training. He further disclosed that the Directorate of Regiment was accordingly tasked to develop a local training curriculum with the objective of ensuring that the NAF has personnel capable of rescuing downed aircrew in all terrains and weather conditions anywhere in Nigeria.
“It is indeed gratifying to note that their training here is yielding the expected benefits. More so, it is evident that there is a remarkable improvement in the quality of training with the demonstration I earlier witnessed from both courses,” he said.
While congratulating the participants, the CAS urged them to imbibe the attributes of SF operatives, which include honesty, courage, perseverance and adaptability, among others.
He also implored them to always remember the NAF’s core values of ‘Integrity’, ‘Service’ and ‘Excellence’ while on their future deployments as this would ensure success in their endeavours.
While reminding the personnel that the scourge of COVID-19 was not yet over, the CAS noted that the NAF, in line with its constitutional role of providing Military Aid to Civil Authority, had been engaged in medical outreach programmes and provision of palliatives in all geo-political zones whilst also emplacing appropriate protective measures and embarking on aggressive enlightenment campaigns to educate personnel and their families on the dangers of the virus as well as how to prevent it. (Channels TV)
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