As part of efforts to tackle internal security challenges, the Nigerian Air Force ( NAF) has graduated new batch of Special Forces (SF) and Combat Search and Rescue Personnel (CSAR).
The combined graduation ceremony took place Saturday at the Regiment Training Centre (RTC) Annex, Bauchi.
It comprised of nine officers, 153 airmen/airwomen and 41 personnel for the Combat Search and Rescue Course.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Special Guest of Honour, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar noted the SF and CSAR were graduating at a time the nation is in dire need of their skills.
Abubakar said the graduation ceremony being the third of its kind to be held at the Regiment Training Centre Annex validated his policy thrust and capacity building initiative for effective, efficient and timely responses of NAF to Nigeria’s security challenges.
According to him, to meet capability gap in Special Forces and Combat Search and Rescue operations, the Nigerian Air Force established the Special Operations Command with its headquarters in Bauchi and Quick Response Groups/Wings in Gusau, Owerri, Ipetu – Ijesha, Daura, Birnin Gwari, Agatu, Nguroge and Doma.
The CAF said further that his administration considered it necessary to train Combat Search and Rescue operatives locally due to high cost of foreign training coupled with lack of available training slots.
He said that the NAF was living up to its constitutional role, and had been engaged in all areas including internal security to protect the lives of citizens, medical outreach programmes and provision of palliatives in all geo-political zones in the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The CAS therefore urged them to imbibe the attributes of special operatives, which include honesty, courage, perseverance and adaptability among others.
‘We must not forget the period in which we are right now. Presently, the nation and the entire world have been embroiled in the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected all aspects of our lives. Lives have been lost, while economies have also been negatively affected.”
‘At this point, let me express my gratitude to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari for the priority attention given to the operational and other requirements of the Nigerian Air Force. ” He said.
In his welcome address, Air Officer Commanding, Ground Training Command, Air Vice Marshal Idi Amin said the graduation ceremony was a testimony to the unflinching support of the Chief of Air Staff to the Command.
He added that the Command had trained over 1,200 personnel so far by conducting seven Special Forces Course, two Special Forces Instructors Course and three Combat Search and Rescue Course.