From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
In order to have efficient and effective counter terrorism mechanisms in place, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) yesterday graduated 414 regiment personnel comprising 396 airmen and air women and 18 officers.
The 10 months rigorous training was jointly conducted by the Israeli Military Training Organisation and British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT) based on their long time relationship with Nigeria.
Addressing the gathering during the combined graduation of Basic Regiment Officers, airmen and Gunnery II course and special forces course 2017 at the Military Training Centre NAF base Kaduna, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar said, training and retraining of servicemen is germane especially in the face of modern terrorism.
According to the Air Chief, graduating personnel have been armed with experiences to withstand fierce challenges, received training on special forces capabilities such as commando counter terrorism, fire and maneuver training, close mortal combat among others.
Represented by Air Officer Commanding(AOC), Ground Training Command (GTC), Air Vice Mashal Samson Akpasa, the Air Chief hinted that, the service had invested enormous resources in accomplishing the training of the special forces personnel. Hence desirable that they reciprocate the good gesture by way of improved service delivery.
According to him, “the knowledge you have acquired coupled with the practical exercise in the basic field tactics, weapon training, map reading and airfield defence training made designed to prepare you for prompt deployment as the need arises.
“You must be prepared to put in your best effort and sustain the necessary zeal and courage to face challenges in the service,” he urged.
Fielding questions from newsmen after the exercise, the Commandant, Regiment Training Centre (RTC), Capt Isaac Subi said, the imparting capacity building skills on the personnel was one of the key drivers of the COAS.
He said the graduating students were taught various combat skills associated with defending airbases and conducting operations in hostile environment, which according to him has moulded them into war fighting machines.
He reiterated that, “the training was geared towards force protection. So now, we are more rugged and composite force, because as we are projecting the air power, their is also a protection of the force, unlike before”.