By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-THE Nigerian Air Force has said it trained over 500 personnel of its special forces in asymmetric warfare in the past six months.
The disclosure came as it graduated another batch of Special Forces personnel comprising officers, airmen and airwomen, from its Regiment Training Centre, RTC in Kaduna, Saturday.
The just graduated 8-week specialized training, according to the Nigerian Air Force spokesman, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, in a statement, was facilitated by an Israeli Military Training Organisation, Four-Troop Limited in conjunction with NAF instructors at RTC.
” It is designed to meet contemporary security challenges as well as add more value to the base defence architecture of the NAF towards enabling the continuous projection of air power, “he said.
The statement said while addressing graduands at the well attended ceremony, the Guest of Honour, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, represented by Chief of Training and Operations, Air Vice Marshal Nurudeen Balogun, stated that the current NAF leadership has made deliberate efforts at repositioning the NAF into a highly professional fighting force.
“Several air and ground related capacity building initiatives have been conducted in recent times to enable the NAF have depth, flexibility and capability to operate either alone or in conjunction with other sister services”, the CAS disclosed.
According to him, the leadership of the NAF would continue to build a highly sustainable and functional air force that would be highly responsive and decisive. He further stated that the NAF, through collaboration mechanisms with other organisations, would continue to develop requisite capabilities and evolve new strategies for adequate response and maintain proper force structure to counter challenges as they affect the wellbeing of the nation.
Air Marshal Abubakar congratulated the graduands and advised them to imbibe the attributes of Special Forces, which include absolute discipline, honesty, intelligence, motivation, teamwork, decisiveness, aggressiveness and courage, among others.
The CAS also charged the newly graduated Special Forces to put all that they had learnt to maximum use to safeguard lives and properties of Nigerians.
The CAS urged the Special Forces personnel to submit themselves to the civil authority and protect democracy. “Always remember that your duty is to protect all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic background or religious inclination”, the CAS reiterated.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commandant RTC, Group Captain Isaac Subi, stated that the Special Forces personnel had been provided with a robust, professional, comprehensive and practical training that was mission tailored.
According to the Commandant, the curriculum of the Special Forces Course was structured to make it effective and efficient to meet the ever changing complexities of military operations either during war or in peace time.
The training module involved classroom lectures, practical demonstrations, film shows and field exercises covering a wide range of counter terrorism drills, commando fighting tactics, airfield defence, force protection and aspects of combat search and rescue in addition to other forms of skills required for asymmetric warfare.
Personnel who distinguished themselves during the course were presented with awards. The CAS Award for the first in order of merit in the officers’ cadre was given to Flying Officer AD Adamu while the CAS Award for the first in order of merit in the airmen/airwomen’s category went to Corporal Eneye ME.
The representative of the CAS and other invited guests were earlier treated to unarmed combat demonstration and tactical exercises, which included basic arms drill, commando self defence, command and control and assault mission during hostage taken crisis.
“The newly graduated Special Forces would form the crop of personnel to man the recently established Quick Response Wing in Lafia, Nasarawa State, “the statement revealed.