A total of 2,079 successful recruits from the Basic Military Training Course 40/2019 of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) who completed the course graduated on Saturday. The graduation is coming just as the NAF named some of the commissioned newly built and renovated projects after five of its personnel who paid the supreme price in the defence of the country.
The NAF named the fallen heroes as Flight Lieutenant Pereowi Jacob; Corporal Komo MI; Air Craft Man (ACM) Atti AF; Air Craft Man (ACM) Ibrahim M and Air Craft Man (ACM) Nkwuo CS. The officers the NAF said died between 2019 and 2020 in various operations aimed at addressing insecurity in the country.
Explaining the circumstances behind their sudden death, the NAF said, ACM Nkwuo and ACM Atti died from gunshot wounds during an operation in Akilibu village in Kaduna State, while Flt Lt Jacob, until his death was an operational pilot of M1-35 helicopter with the task force operation Lafiya Dole. Corporal Kommo died in a parachuting accident. ACM Ibrahim died in an operation in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State.
Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was the reviewing officer said threats to national security have expanded from traditional inter-state conflicts to non-state actors employing unconventional tactics to destroy aircrafts and other assets in order to gain advantage, stressing that the graduating recruits will help substantially in bridging the wide gap in manpower disposition of the NAF.
While stressing that the recruitment drive in the force must be sustained at the current rate to enable the service function more effectively, the army chief said, “This gives credence to the testament to our efforts at repositioning the NAF into a highly professional Service that is appropriately manned and adequately trained to ensure that Nigeria’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty is not undermined or subverted by any individuals or group of individuals”.
According to him, the NAF has made deliberate efforts to increase its infrastructure, which include the upgrading and provision of additional housing, schools, hospitals, operational and recreational facilities. These efforts have led to the provision of accommodation to over 6,500 families, thus enhancing the welfare of personnel which has in-turn reflected on the quality of their outputs.
To the passing out recruits of Basic Military Training Course 40/2019, he said, “You are joining the military at a time when the Armed Forces is involved in several Internal Security of the operations across the Country. Your training has been rigorous and deliberate so as to expose you to the near real-life scenario of what the nation expects from you when deployed for operations.”