The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced the training of another batch of Special Forces (SF) personnel to boost internal security operations in the country.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Daramola said the SF Course 5/2019 was inaugurated on Wednesday at the Regiment Training Centre (RTC) Annex in Bauchi.
He said the course, which is the seventh by the current NAF administration, is the first to be conducted at the newly established RTC Annex in Bauchi.
Daramola said the choice of Bauchi was to enable the trainees acclimatise to the arid conditions prevalent in the North East, as well as decongest the RTC’s main training facility in Kaduna.
AVM Idi Amin, the Air Officer Commanding Ground Training Command (AOC GTC), while inaugurating the course said the training was another NAF leadership efforts in capacity building.
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He said the training demonstrated the realisation of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar’s, vision of repositioning the NAF into a highly professional and disciplined force.
He said this is for effective, efficient and timely employment of air power in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives.
Amin said that the building of capacity of NAF SF was borne out of the need to ensure the robust defence of NAF Bases and air assets.
He added that it would also enable the Service continue to project air power effectively, thereby bridging the gap between Air Power projection and force protection.
“The robust capacity built has also enabled the Service to more effectively contribute to the protection of critical national assets, like our Airports, as well as provide support to sister Services and other security agencies in internal security operations across the country,” he said.
He said that SF capabilities hold great importance to military operations worldwide.
He said these units have continued to contribute significantly to security efforts at the various locations, working in synergy with personnel of other security agencies, to ensure the protection of lives and properties of Nigerians.
The Commandant RTC Annex Bauchi, Wing Commander Kehinde Akinyosade, thanked the CAS for convening the Course and for his tremendous strides in the areas of infrastructure development at the NAF Base Bauchi.
He said that the course curriculum entails intensive training in shooting skills, unarmed combat, navigation, field tactics, communications, endurance and swimming, amongst others.
He said these areas were intended to ensure that only the fittest complete the Course and graduate to join the NAF SF, also known as the “Panthers”.
He tasked the trainees to work hard, endure the rigours and maintain the right attitude in order to successfully graduate from the Course.