The Nigerian Air Force, NAF have inducted five additional Super Mushshak trainer aircraft into its inventory for the primary training of pilots.
Also, 16 ab-initio student pilots, including two female cadets, graduated from the 401 Flying Training School in Kaduna.
This was the first time in over 30 years that NAF cadets of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna would be graduating from flying training before being commissioned as officers.
The newly inducted aircraft, which was the NAF’s first batch of 10 Super Mushshak aircraft procured from Pakistan, was recently received by the NAF.
The inducted aircraft are all brand new and are fitted with digital glass cockpit in line with current practice in the global aviation industry.
Major Security Policy
The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo said that one of the major security policy thrusts of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is the building of the capacity of the Armed Forces.
“We have since embarked on qualitative training and acquisition of new platforms and other supporting equipment for the Armed Forces and security agencies. We have also sanitised the procurement process of military hardware with a view to eliminating corruption and inefficiency. This has contributed in no small way to the acquisition of these new aircraft without any encumbrances,” Acting President Osinbajo stated.
He congratulated the newly graduated pilots for the accomplishment in completing the primary flying training in a record time.
“You should by now have known that the reward for hard work is more hard work,” he noted.
Repositioning the NAF
He commended the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for his selfless efforts in repositioning the NAF for greater professionalism and excellent service delivery to the country.
The Chief of Air Staff commended the efforts of the Nigerian Government in acquiring several operational and training platforms for the NAF as well as for the huge investment in infrastructure and human resource development in the last two years.
“We have attained between 63 to 70 per cent aircraft serviceability rate as against about 35 per cent aircraft serviceability rate two years ago, ”he noted.
The CAS further stated that the capacity development efforts of the NAF had translated into better operational efficiency in the North East and other parts of Nigeria.
He said that the defense architecture of the NAF Bases had improved tremendously in the past two years with the training assistance the NAF receives from the British Military Advisory Training Team.
“The graduation of ab-initio student pilots is part of efforts at repositioning the NAF into highly professional force. Our plan is to consolidate on this achievement in order to attain self-reliance in local pilot training,” the Chief of Air Staff added.
The representative of the Special Guest of Honour and other invited guests were later treated to an aerial display, involving several acrobatics, by one of the new aircraft.
The guests also visited the Air Force Research and Development Centre in Kaduna, where they inspected some ongoing research works such as the Gulma Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Unguided Rockets, and the Powered Chute Aircraft.