By Tony Adibe
The Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), has assured the Federal Government’s continuous support and commitment to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to tackle its present and emerging challenges.
Maj-Gen Magashi, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Dr Ibrahim Kana, said this at the NAF Day 2023 Inter-Command Doctrine Penetration Competition, with the theme: “Doctrinal Imperatives for Successful Nigerian Air Force Operations” held at the NAF Base, in Enugu on Thursday.
He said that the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, since assumption of office in 2015, had fully supported the Armed Forces in general and indeed NAF in particular to enable them to achieve their set objectives.
He said: “Accordingly, the Federal Government has committed substantial national resources to enhance the overall capabilities of the Armed Forces in a bid to address the security challenges in various parts of the country.
“This has not only aided in overcoming equipment constraints which have been experienced in previous years and the attendant implications of such constraints, but it has also spurred our personnel to become more committed to the decimation of subversive elements who seek to undermine our peace, progress, and unity.”
Commenting specifically on doctrine penetration, Magashi said that it was obvious that the recent operational successes recorded by NAF was attributable to its adherence to doctrinal tenets of the Service in the application of airpower in single and joint operational settings.
He said: “Therefore, to sustain these achievements in the light of all the daunting security challenges facing the nation, the NAF has the onerous responsibility of continually teaching and sufficiently exposing the officers and airmen/airwomen to its operational doctrines through practice.
“This will undoubtedly help to inculcate the tenets in NAF personnel, while broadening their knowledge and understanding of NAF doctrines for successful operations.
“I have no doubt that this will produce both synergistic and multiplier effects on our defence and security efforts going forward.”
Also speaking, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, said that the changing dynamics in the approach to warfare required that the NAF in conjunction with other services, “continues to evolve strategies to effectively meet contemporary and future security imperatives.”
Amao said that he had made “jointness in operations a major policy thrust,” stressing that “this paradigm informed my Vision for NAF,” which, he said, “is to enhance and sustain critical airpower capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of national security imperatives”.
He further stated: “Since the efficiency of NAF is hinged on enhancing and sustaining critical airpower capabilities and enablers, we have so far creditably pursued this Vision to sustain NAF as a formidable and respected professional fighting force reckoned with in the West African sub-region and beyond.
“This, of course, would not have been possible without the commendable efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and all the past Chiefs of the Air Staff, many of whom have honoured our invitation to attend this Celebration. Even in retirement, their invaluable encouragement and support have in no small measure contributed to the many achievements we have recorded on many fronts.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the NAF Day 2023, Air Commodore Chukwuedo Iloh, said that the Doctrine Penetration Competition was a unique one as it was meant to deepen the understanding of doctrinal principles among personnel, wings, units, and commands of NAF.
Air Commodore lloh said that the general objective of developing and enhancing NAF doctrines was to ensure immediate and long-term enhancement of NAF effectiveness in operations and be in conformity with global best practices as well.