- As 1,598 new officers, recruits join Air Force
By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
The Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (rtd) has assured that in addition to the recent procurement of J-F17 Thunder multi-role aircraft and Super Tucano attack aircraft to enhance the capacity of the Air Force to tackle current security challenges in the country, the country is also expecting the delivery of the DA-42 surveillance aircraft, A109 Trekker helicopters and Beechcraft KA-360i aircraft.
The Minister spoke in Kaduna on Saturday as 49 new officers were commissioned and 1,549 recruits enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
Represented by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, the minister charged the military to protect the lives and property of Nigerians in the face of the various security challenges bedevilling the country.
He said the military profession was more than just a job, but a career that required hard work, especially at this crucial time in Nigeria’s history, when the Nation was battling the challenges of insecurity on several fronts.
The Minister served as the Reviewing Officer at the Combined Passing Out Parade of Cadets of Branch Commission 1/2022 and Recruits of Basic Military Training Course 42/2021 at the NAF Military Training Centre, Kaduna.
He charged the new officers, personnel and other officers and men of the service to ensure optimal utilization of resources at their disposal while subordinating their personal interests to those of the Service and the Nation.
“The military profession, which you have chosen, requires absolute discipline, loyalty and hard work, among other virtues. It is much more than just a job, especially at this crucial time in our Nation’s history, when we are battling the challenges of insecurity on several fronts.
“As such, you are expected to secure the lives and properties of the Nigerian people and ensure that they can live in peace and pursue their legitimate aspirations without fear. Such a noble service demands extraordinary courage, commitment, and patriotism, and Nigeria will continue to count on you and demand such qualities from you.
“Today, undoubtedly, marks a special day in your lives and that of your families, given that you have successfully scaled through the rigorous training at this Centre. I must highlight that the training was deliberately made to be demanding to simulate, as closely as possible, the real-life scenarios you are likely to encounter going forward.
“I, therefore, encourage the graduands, and indeed all personnel, to ensure optimal utilization of resources while subordinating their personal interests to those of the Service and the Nation. Above all, you must exhibit the core values of ‘Integrity’, ‘Service before Self’ and ‘Excellence’ for which the Nigerian Air Force is known.
“At this juncture, I would like to appreciate the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Mohammadu Buhari, for his unflinching support to meet our Armed Forces’ operational and logistics requirements in general and the Nigerian Air Force in particular.
‘Accordingly, the Federal Government’s recent procurement of new platforms such as the J-F17 Thunder multi-role aircraft and Super Tucano attack aircraft to enhance the capacity of the Nigerian Air Force to tackle current security challenges in the country is a testament to Mr President’s quest for equipping the Nigerian Air Force.
“The Nigerian Air Force is also expecting the delivery of the DA-42 surveillance aircraft, A109 Trekker helicopters and Beechcraft KA-360i aircraft in the next few years, among so many other requirements. We, therefore, once again thank Mr President for strengthening our Armed Forces and pledge our unalloyed loyalty and total commitment towards restoring peace and order in all parts of the country.
“Let me commend the Chief of Air the Staff for providing the right leadership to his officers, airmen and airwomen. I have noted with satisfaction, the measures that you have emplaced to engender transparency, accountability and prudent utilisation of resources for optimal results. I implore you not to relent and assure you of my continued support to sustain your capacity development efforts,” he said,
The Minister presided over the presidential commissioning of the 49 Branch Commissioned Officers into the Air Force as Flying Officers.