In continuation of its capacity building initiatives to effectively tackle various security challenges confronting the Nation, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced the training of another batch of Special Forces (SF) personnel.
The SF Course 5/2019 was inaugurated Wednesday at the Regiment Training Centre (RTC) Annex in Bauchi.
According to NAF spokesperson, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the course was the seventh of such training programmes by the current NAF administration, and first to be conducted at the newly established RTC Annex in Bauchi.
He said over 1,000 special forces has so far been trained by NAF within four years, to effectively tack various security challenges in the country.
Daramola said the choice of Bauchi was to enable the trainees acclimatize to the arid conditions prevalent in the North East, as well as decongest the RTC’s main training facility in Kaduna.
Inaugurating the Course, the Air Officer Commanding Ground Training Command (AOC GTC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Idi Amin, said the training programme was “another glowing demonstration of the realization 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 through capacity building initiatives for effective, efficient and timely employment of air power in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives.”
He said the building of capacity of NAF SF was borne out of the need to ensure the robust defence of NAF Bases and air assets to 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 added.
The AOC said the SF capabilities hold great importance to military operations worldwide, as they “are highly trained and motivated forces who possess an array of skills and are capable of operating in all types of terrain and weather conditions in order to achieve favourable resolution of security threats.”
He noted that the CAS has made the development of SF capability a priority to ensure that the NAF Quick Response Groups (QRGs) and Wings (QRWs) as well as Forward Operating Bases at Gusau in Zamafara State, Agatu in Benue State, Brinin Gwari in Kaduna State, Ipetu-Ijesha in Osun State and Gembu in Taraba State, amongst others, are properly manned.
These units, he said 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.
AVM Amin emphasized that the need to further expand the NAF’s capacity to train more Regiment and SF personnel as well as reduce the strain on facilities at the RTC, Kaduna, had informed the establishment of the RTC Annex in Bauchi.
He disclosed that an Annex had also been established at Ipetu-Ijesha in Osun State, which would commence training activities in the First Quarter of 2020, while another Annex would soon be established in Owerri, Imo State.
While congratulating the 200 trainees for scaling through the rigorous screening and selection process that qualified them to attend the course, the AOC GTC charged them to be prepared to put in their best and draw on every ounce of determination and resilience in them to excel.
He lauded the CAS for his exceptional sense of purpose and dedication to capacity building and unflinching support towards providing highly skilled and professional manpower to meet the NAF’s operational requirements.