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Vol 26

Apr - Jun 2018



APR - JUN 18


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Goodwill Message FROM Honourable Minister of Defence



t is my pleasure to felicitate with the Chief of the Air staff Air Marshal SB Abubakar, officers, airmen and civilian staff of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and indeed all Nigerians on the occasion of the 54th Anniversary Celebration. Since the establishment of NAF in 1964, the Service has evolved into a veritable, dynamic and indispensable component of the nation's defence architecture. The history of the Nigerian Air Force has been marked by solid contributions to the peace, progress and prosperity of our dear nation. I want to use this opportunity to acknowledge that the officers and airmen/airwomen of the NAF have remained firm and committed to the established roles of the NAF through effective defence of our airspace. In particular, the continued effort of the NAF towards ensuring national unity and prosperity deserves special commendation. In line with the constitutional mandate, the NAF has continued to play a vital role in support of all major operations across the country. In this role you have demonstrated a high sense of professionalism and patriotism. I most also commend you for being a vanguard in promoting good civil-military relations through your popular free medical outreaches to less privileged Nigerians and other schemes that directly affect the citizenry. In the last five decades, the Nigerian Air Force has also proved itself as a hub of technology and innovation by providing the right atmosphere for its personnel to thrive. Such encouragements led to the invention of UAV GULMA 4

and most recently TSAIGUMI. Your innovations are a source of national pride and inspiration. The present administration will continue to support our Armed Forces to discharge their constitutional responsibilities effectively. Furthermore, I am gratified at the transformational efforts of the NAF to better position itself to emerging security challenges. I am happy with the efforts made so far in improving training and personnel welfare despite paucity of funds. Indeed you have justified your motto as Willing, Able and Ready. I urge you to continue with your dedication and selflessness to our nation. I want to assure you of the resolve of the Federal Government to assist you to overcome your challenges and be able to meet the national expectations within available resources. On this note, I wish you Happy Anniversary Celebration.





am most delighted to be part of the celebration as the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) marks its 54th Anniversary. As we are aware, the need for the establishment of an Air Force arose in 1961 to assist in the deployment of Nigerian troops in Peacekeeping operations in Congo and Tanzania. The actualisation of this need has become a pride to our country. Today, the Nigerian military is globally respected, with the NAF playing a very significant role. The NAF has been active in the protection of the nation's territorial integrity and provision of internal security. Importantly, successes recorded in combating insurgency have largely been due to air support operations and for that, we are all happy. Therefore, on this occasion of NAF's 54th Anniversary, I wish to thank and congratulate the Chief of the Air Staff, Officers and Men of the NAF, and urge them to keep doing the good job.

Specifically, let me use this opportunity to congratulate the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar under whose visionary and transformational leadership the NAF has attained tremendous development. I must also emphasise here that the unprecedented transformation achieved in the NAF in this short period would not have been possible without the tremendous support the Service received from the President, Commander –in- Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari. I therefore urge the NAF to remain committed in the discharge of her constitutional duties in order to justify the huge investment of the Nation on the Service. I wish the entire NAF family Happy Anniversary.


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Published by the Directorate of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Abuja, the Airman is catalogued at the National Library as 'ISSN 1118-5295. All stories, articles or views expressed in this magazine are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Nigerian Air Force or The Federal Republic of Nigeria. All enquiries, articles and stories meant for publication should be forwarded to the Editor via Email:

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COVER STORY Nigerian Air Force: Marching Ahead @ 54 NEWS President Muhammadu Buhari Inducts First Nigerian Air Force Indigenous Operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Air Task Force Conducts Operation Ruwan Wuta IV, Rain SigniďŹ cant Fire on Boko Haram Terrorists Locations Operation Thunder Strike NAF Unleashes Firepower on Boko Haram Terrorists NAF takes Delivery of Second Batch of Mi-35M Helicopter Gunships, Final Batch of Super Mushshak Aircraft United States Ambassador Presents Letter of Offer and Acceptance for Super Tucano Aircraft to NAF Nigerian Air Force Produces 84 Pilots in 2 Years, NAF Graduates Pioneer Ab-Initio Student Pilots Trained With Super Mushshak Aircraft, Commissions New Hangar President Buhari Commissions Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital in Bauchi NAF Conducts Free Medical Outreach in Azare ARTICLES Focus on The Nigerian Air Force Regiment Tsaigumi UAV: The Making Nigerian Air Force is Innovating to Enhance Operational Effectiveness Medical Service in an Era Of NAF Transformation Nigerian Air Force Inter Command Combat Sports Competition


20 24 25 36 38 51

Air Marshal SB Abubakar

53 Air Vice Marshal OA Adesanya

82 85

60 72 78 90 116

LECTURE The Nigerian Air Force in Contemporary Warfare: CAS Vision for Future Engagements


INTERVIEW From Infancy to Adulthood


Wing Commander BI Okon Wing Commander ET Iheoma Wing Commander JO Abioye Wing Commander I Bukar Wing Commander JA Idowu Wing Commander RS Bello Wing Commander CI Erondu Squadron Leader RE Obi-Obasi Squadron Leader MG Tsekaa Squadron Leader A Aliyu Squadron Leader AE Obidake Flight Lieutenant O Lawal Flight Lieutenant A Mohammed Master Warrant Officer Shoyode Y Flight Sergeant Mohammed A Flight Sergeant Lemamu JA Sergeant Ifejika NO Sergeant Jones AS

Warrant Officer Alaba JO

Sergeant Yahuza A Mr Paul Onogbosele

Read and download online at:

Flight Sergeant Hanson EE Corporal GO Olayinka Corporal Anthony TJ Corporal James EP


Goodwill Message from



t is with immense pleasure that I felicitate with the Chief of the Air Staff and indeed the entire Nigerian Air Force on the occasion of your 54th Anniversary. This anniversary is an excellent opportunity for the Nigerian Air Force to celebrate its courageous men and women who have exhibited courage and tenacity in tackling the numerous challenges facing our dear nation. It is also a time for the leadership to reflect on its successes and limitations. I have observed with admiration, how the Nigerian Air Force has gone about expanding its organizational structure and improving on its air and ground assets. These developments have greatly assisted in ensuring success in its operations in support of our land forces. I also appreciate the immense and unique contribution that the Air Force has made to national security as a strategic partner. In this regard, I want to appreciate the great strides that the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, is making to position the Nigerian Air Force as a vibrant, capable and modern air power. In furtherance of national defence, the Nigerian Army will continue to rely on the Air Force to provide air support, airlift, air interdiction, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and aerial communications, amongst others. To complement the effort of the Air Force, the Army is




NAM GSS psc(+) ndc (BD) BA (Hons) MA Mphil


making effort to acquire aviation assets to provide direct support to land forces in combat. In this regard, we are immensely grateful for the support so far provided by the Nigerian Air Force. As we jointly chart progressive paths towards tackling the security challenges confronting the nation. I would like to join the Air Force Family to remember the many fine pilots, navigators and aircrew who lost their lives in the course of their duty. These fine officers, airmen and women represented the best among the Air Force and the Nigerian Army appreciates their collective sacrifice. Once again, on behalf of the officers, men and women of the Nigerian Army, I congratulate the Nigerian Air Force on the occasion of its 54th Anniversary. The Nigerian Army will continue to collaborate, synergize and stand with the Nigerian Air Force towards ensuring that the defence and security objectives of the nation are met. Once more, congratulations.


AIR MARSHAL SB ABUBAKAR DFS psc (+) fwc fdc (+) MSc Chief of the Air Staff


t is my pleasure to welcome our highly esteemed readers to yet another edition of the Airman Magazine, the third since my assumption of office as the Chief of the Air Staff. The last edition of the Magazine, you would agree with me was quite revealing, as it chronicled our humble achievements in the first 2 years of the administration. Since the last publication, a lot more successes and considerable impact have been made, most significantly in combatting terrorism and other forms of criminalities in the country. Besides, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) recently attained a major milestone, as it celebrated its 54th Anniversary in Kaduna. It was indeed a time to reflect on how the NAF had evolved over the years and had been able to overcome many of its challenges to become a force to be reckoned with in Africa. There is no doubt that the NAF has grown in size and equipment holding thus positioning it to better fulfill its statutory obligation of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria by air. I am therefore delighted to note that the focus of this publication is to update our esteemed readers, especially the Nigerian citizenry who are our major stakeholders, on some of the major activities and milestone achievements of the NAF in the past few months. As part of the deliberate efforts by my administration to reposition the NAF into a highly professional force capable of responding effectively, efficiently and timely to Nigeria's security imperatives, we have established Quick Response Wings in Agatu, Doma and Nguroje in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States respectively. Also, as part of efforts to stop cattle rustling and the incessant banditry attacks in the North West, NAF Special Forces were recently deployed to Gusau, Zamfara State. Similarly, we are improving facilities in newly established specialized units such as the Combat Search and Rescue Group in Kerang (near Jos), the Regiment Group in Owerri and the Quick Response Group in Ipetu Ijesha. All these efforts are aimed at enhancing NAF's contributions to tackling Internal Security challenges in the country in fulfilment of its constitutional responsibility and to bring security closer to those in the relatively remote parts of the country. Furthermore, we are not unmindful of the sporadic attacks by the remnants of Boko Haram Terrorists Group on soft targets in the North East. The NAF, in collaboration with other sister Services, has made remarkable efforts at dislodging the remnants of the terrorist group from their various hideouts in the North East. We are now making deliberate efforts at ensuring that the insurgents' activities in the North East are completely brought to an end. It was to this end that the NAF, in December 2017, reorganized its air combat structure in the North East for operational efficiency by establishing the Air Task Force. Since the inception of the present administration of the Federal Government, 2 additional Commands and 2 new Branches have been established to further enhance operational effectiveness and administrative efficiency. Several new platforms have been acquired and inducted into the Service to meet the evolving security challenges in the country. Twelve hitherto grounded aircraft have been reactivated while personnel strength of the Service has been increased by at least 400 officers and 7,500 men. It may interest our esteemed readers to know that the NAF had trained over 1,000 Special Forces to bridge the gap between force projection and force protection. The commitment of the current

administration of the Federal Government to enhancing Nigeria's security was recently given a boost by the payment for 12 Super Tucano aircraft to be purchased from the United States of America. During the just concluded NAF Day Celebration, 2 Mi-35M Helicopter gunships were unveiled, bringing the total of Mi-35M helicopter gunships procured to 4. As part of human capacity development, the NAF recently graduated pioneer ab-initio student pilots trained with Super Mushshak aircraft procured from Pakistan. We have taken deliberate steps towards closer interaction and communication with the Nigerian public. The Service, through the Directorate of Public Relations and Information, recently conducted a 2-hour real time 'tweetchat' with various stakeholders. The questions and comments generated during the session were true demonstrations of a nation that yearns for a robust and professional air force. We are, as well, even more emboldened by many who showed their appreciation, via the 'tweetchat', of the various contributions of the NAF in nation building. Nigeria, no doubt, is facing a number of security challenges but with the collective support and cooperation of the citizens, terrorism and all forms of criminalities will be a thing of the past in our dear country. I must reiterate that the modest achievements recorded by the NAF since 2015 would not have been possible without the enabling environment created by the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. On behalf of the officers, airmen/airwomen and civilian staff of the NAF, I therefore express our gratitude to the President and other top officials in the respective arms of government for their unflinching support, which has resulted in the progress being witnessed in the NAF. Let me specially take the time to commend the officers, airmen/airwomen and the civilian staff of the NAF who have demonstrated a lot of professionalism, commitment and dedication to duty in ensuring the realization of our vision of repositioning the Service for more effective and efficient service delivery. I also rejoice with them all on the occasion of the 54th anniversary of the NAF. Let me conclude by expressing my satisfaction with the efforts of members of the Editorial Team for their untiring efforts at producing another well-packaged and rich edition of the Airman Magazine. I sincerely urge you not to rest on your oars. To our readers, I am highly delighted to welcome you to this edition. Happy reading!


Goodwill Message from



t is with utmost delight that I felicitate with the Chief of the Air Staff, officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff on the occasion of the 54th anniversary celebration of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF). This is yet another epoch making occasion which provides me with an opportunity to acknowledge the resilient efforts of the NAF in its contribution towards enhancing our national security architecture. It is pertinent to acknowledge the several operational successes of the NAF in our collective efforts towards addressing insurgency and maritime security threats in Nigeria and the West African sub region at large. I therefore enjoin the officers, airmen and airwomen to continue to sustain the operational tempo and successes achieved so far. The existing and cordial relationship between the Nigerian Navy and NAF has blossomed over the years and evolved new grounds for operational cooperation in both the terrestrial and maritime environments respectively. I want to reassure you that the NN will continue to identify with the laudable aspirations of the NAF in the performance of her constitutional responsibilities to Nigeria. 10

Finally, on behalf of the officers, ratings and civilian staff of the NN, I wish to congratulate the entire Air Force family on the occasion of the 54th Anniversary of the NAF and to reassure of the NN's continued support. I wish you fair winds and ONWARD TOGETHER.


From the Editor-in-Chief Air Vice Marshal

persons. Medical outreaches are held on a regular basis to support Internally Displaced Persons and other unfortunate Nigerians in dire need of medical intervention. Some of these outreaches are also captured in this edition. The rising profile of the NAF in the area of Research and Development took a giant leap with the induction of the first indigenous operational unmanned aerial vehicle by the President and Commander-inChief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari. The induction activities and other research efforts of the NAF were adequately captured in this edition.


t is my delight to welcome you to this special edition of our magazine, which focuses on the activities that took place as the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) recently celebrated its 54th Anniversary, among others. You will readily recall that the last edition looked at the New Dawn in the NAF. As a further step to enlighten and educate our numerous readers about the tremendous positive changes happening daily in the NAF, this edition looks at 'Nigerian Air Force: Marching Ahead at 54'. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, was in London during the Annual Military Flight Training where he presented his vision for future NAF engagements. The keynote address delivered by the CAS at that event is reproduced here. The paper, titled “Air Force in C o n t e m p o r a r y Wa r f a r e : C A S Vi s i o n f o r F u t u r e Engagements”, considered the emerging trends in modern warfare and offered viable pathways for combatting future conflicts. In line with this new thinking, this edition also highlights the growing fortunes of the Regiment Specialty. Prior to the appointment of Air Marshal SB Abubakar as the 20th Chief of the Air Staff, the Regiment Specialty was relatively illequipped and with inadequate manpower. Today, the Specialty is fully equipped, properly trained at home and abroad and contributing maximally to ongoing efforts to bring peace to the troubled parts of the country. The forgoing is in addition to bridging the gap between 'Force Projection' and 'Force Protection' by revolutionizing NAF Base Defence system. Prevention, as an old adage puts it, is better than seeking for remedy. Accordingly, the NAF, being mindful of the need to enlighten the youths, took its advocacy to students of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti. The NAF used the opportunity to enlighten youths, especially future legal luminaries, on the correlation between law and security. Details of this advocacy outreach are also covered in this edition.

As we commemorate the NAF's 54th Anniversary, memories of the years gone by are presented as well as images of the celebration. One thing is clear though, the NAF has greatly evolved since its establishment by an Act of Parliament 54 years ago. For example, from a Service that once pushed bombs off transport aircraft, the NAF now delivers weapons via Unmanned Aerial Vehicles while also employing Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platforms in support of its combat operations. Similarly, the NAF is now capable of conducting major aircraft maintenance activities unlike in the past when it relied on foreign vendors for virtually all its aircraft maintenance activities. Similarly, the focus of Research and Development efforts in the NAF used to be repairs and modification of existing products but recent efforts have now led to the creation of new products, some of which have been patented. In the area of Base Defence, the NAF had a largely static base defence system, which relied solely on the deployment of armed guards but it now has a mobile base defence system manned by its well trained Special Forces. The NAF has also witnessed rapid expansion in recent times, increasing its presence in more states of the country via the establishment of Quick Response units, in a move to complement the efforts of the other security agencies in bringing security closer to the people. In the area of welfare, more NAF personnel are now accommodated in several newly built residential accommodation, hospitals are being expanded and upgraded with modern facilities while gymnasia are also being built and equipped to enhance personnel wellbeing. Besides, Public Relations in the NAF is now deliberately more dynamic and inclusive of public engagement for the sake of transparency and accountability in recognition of the fact that the NAF belongs to all Nigerians. For your education, enlightenment and information, we have therefore put together several articles, news stories, pictorials and news bits in this edition to depict some of the activities of the NAF, as it marches ahead at 54. Keep reading!

The NAF has, over the past 2 years, instituted a culture of support and assistance to the vulnerable and less privileged









ne of the common features that characterize the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Day celebrations since its inception is the glitz and glamour of ceremonial parades. Guests and spectators alike are usually thrilled with the colourful ceremonial parade and spectacular aerial display, depicting array of platforms on the NAF inventory. The just concluded NAF 54th anniversary celebration held at the NAF Base, Kaduna was no exception as guests were held spellbound by the dexterity and maneuverability of NAF pilots who were simply doing what they knew how to do, to the best of their abilities. The NAF aircraft were on hand and flew past in various formations with the NAF L-39ZA aircraft returning to depict the Nigerian national colours of green white and green in the sky, with the aid of smoke canisters. In addition, some NAF Special Forces elements were inserted into the venue of the celebration through rappelling from the Super Puma Helicopter while the Mi-35M helicopter gunship provided simulated air cover. The NAF paratroopers were not left out in the ever exciting and captivating aerial display as they also added colour to the ceremony. The NAF paratroopers jumped from a NAF C-130 Hercules aircraft at over 10,000 feet above sea level and thereafter landed in a drop zone already earmarked at the venue of the celebration. Members of the audience, including several civilians, who had come to felicitate with the NAF, were

obviously delighted at the performance of the NAF personnel involved in the various displays. Some of the aircraft that took part in the impressive aerial display and fly past were the Alpha Jet, L-39ZA, F-7Ni, Super Mushshak, King Air 350i and the Diamond 42 MPP. The others were the Mi-35M Helicopter, Super Puma Helicopter, Bell 412 Helicopter as well as the recently inducted indigenous TSAIGUMI Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). However, for the first time in the history of NAF Day celebrations, another significant dimension was added to the 54th NAF Anniversary. This time, it was a historical photo gallery display. The historical photo gallery was aimed at depicting a progression of the evolvement of the NAF from infancy to a formidable Air Force capable of projecting air power not only in Nigeria but also beyond the shores of the country. According to the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the main essence of the historic photo gallery was to remind Nigerians how far the NAF had come and to appreciate the contributions of our heroes past while challenging its personnel to continue to press forward and give their best to the nation and to the Service. Shortly after the historic photo gallery display, another history was made as the NAF introduced categorized ‘wings’ for its Aircraft and Armament Engineers. The highest category of the newly introduced wing, based on knowledge and experience in


the engineering field, is the ‘Senior’ followed by ‘Intermediate’ while the lowest category is the ‘Basic’. The winging of the engineering personnel was aimed at encouraging proficiency, as it would help to accord the engineers due recognition for their professionalism, competence and accomplishments. The CAS winged 6 NAF Aircraft and Armament Engineering officers, all of whom were in the ‘Senior’ category, while the Chief of Aircraft Engineering (CAcE), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Abdulganiyu Olabisi, decorated 3 senior technicians. The newly winged aircraft engineers with ‘Senior’ category wing are AVM Jomo Osahor, AVM Abdulganiyu Olabisi, AVM Christian Dii, AVM Paul Jemitola, AVM Olatokunbo Adesanya, the NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information and Air Commodore Gabriel Kehinde. The CAS in his remarks explained that the winging was a result of the efforts to reposition the Aircraft Engineering Branch in line with global best practices. Air Marshal Abubakar further revealed that the NAF had established a Central Avionics Overhaul and Calibration Centre to domesticate maintenance of the avionics equipment and instruments on NAF aircraft types. The CAcE, in his welcome address at the winging ceremony, disclosed that the winging of aircraft and armament engineers in the NAF would no doubt assist in rewarding competence and acknowledging professionalism. In addition, a static display of aircraft weaponry as well as NAF Research and Development efforts was held to show how the NAF had continued to find innovative solutions to some of its technological challenges in the past few years. Also, the regimental colours of the erstwhile Training Command (TC) was retired while the newly established Air Training Command (ATC) and Ground Training Command (GTC) were presented with their regimental colours. It is pertinent to state that Regimental colours serve as the rallying point of a Unit in battle and it is significant because its loss to the enemy is seen as a significant dishonour. In the same vein, 2 recently acquired Mi35M Helicopter gunships were unveiled by the Special Guest of Honour (SGOH), President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Honourable Minister of Defence (HMOD), Mansur Dan Ali. It would be recalled that during the last edition of the NAF Day Celebration in Makurdi in 2017, 2 x Mi-35M Helicopters were also inducted into the NAF inventory. Another event held, as part of the NAF 54th Anniversary Celebration, was the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and renewal of existing ones between the NAF and 20 tertiary institutions who have greatly contributed to the drive of the current NAF leadership at making the NAF more self-reliant. In his address, the Chief of Standards and Evaluation, AVM Kingsley Lar reiterated the commitment of the NAF towards finding solutions to most of its technological challenges by continuing with the strategic partnership with relevant Ministries Departments and Agencies of Government. He thanked the institutions for their continuous support, which had brought about various innovations and solutions to many of the NAF’s technical challenges. In their goodwill messages, Vice Chancellors and representatives of the various tertiary institutions lauded the efforts of the current NAF leadership at bridging the gap between “the gown and the town”, noting that it had gone a long way in optimizing the abundant talents in Nigeria’s academic institutions with attendant huge cost savings for the nation. Awards were later presented by the CAS to deserving institutions at a gala night later in the evening. In his remarks during the grand finale on 5 May 2018, the SGOH commended the efforts of the current NAF leadership for performing its assignments wonderfully and noted that the NAF


had, in recent times, recorded several unprecedented milestones. The President expressed his delight at having to come to the NAF Base Kaduna to celebrate the NAF at 54. He pointed out that the NAF had evolved over the years since its establishment by an Act of Parliament in April 1964 while recalling that the NAF played a vital role in the successful prosecution of the Nigerian Civil war of 1967. “As a young Army Officer, I took part from the beginning to the end in the tragic Nigerian Civil War and I know the role the young NAF played in the successful prosecution of the war”, President Buhari added. He used the opportunity to appreciate the role of the NAF, in particular, and that of the military, in general, as an enabler of national development, which could never be overemphasized. He went further to commend the gallant men and women of the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies, for their tireless efforts towards completely eliminating the scourge of Boko Haram Terrorists and other threats to the nation’s security. In his welcome address, the CAS, expressed satisfaction with how the NAF had evolved in the last 54 years. He stated that the NAF had faced a myriad of challenges over the years and had overcome many of them thereby becoming more matured in the process. He added that the NAF had also grown in size and equipment holding thus positioning it to better fulfill its statutory obligation of protecting and defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria by air. The CAS expressed his appreciation to the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, for the outstanding growth experienced in the NAF since 2015, in particular. He revealed that 12 hitherto grounded aircraft had been reactivated while the personnel strength of the Service had been increased by 7,500 men and 400 officers, all in less than 3 years. The CAS said that since the beginning of President Buhari’s administration, 2 additional NAF Commands and 2 new Branches had been established. “Besides, several new platforms were acquired and inducted into Service to meet the evolving security challenges faced by the country”, the CAS added. Air Marshal Abubakar noted that the gap between force projection and force protection had also been substantially bridged with the training of about 1000 Special Forces. “These forces have been deployed as part of the intervention force to deal with the Internal Security challenges of the North Central geopolitical zone”, he stated. He further stated that the commitment of Mr President and the current administration to enhancing Nigeria’s security was clearly exemplified by the recent payment for 10 Super Tucano aircraft to be purchased from the United States of America. The CAS also recollected that the NAF recently took delivery of 10 Super Mushshak aircraft from Pakistan in addition to a total of 4 x brand new Mi-35M helicopter gunships so far procured from the Russian Federation. The NAF Anniversary Celebrations is an annual event held to commemorate the establishment of the Service by an Act of the Parliament in April 1964. The theme of the 54th NAF Day Celebrations is ‘Enhancing Nigerian Air Force Operational Capability for Timely Employment of Air Power in Response to Contemporary Security Challenges’. Other activities held in celebration of the 2018 NAF Day included Juma’at Prayers, Interdenominational Church Service, Medical Outreach and a Gala Night.

The HMOD, Mansur Dan-Ali who represented the President Muhammadu Buhari, inspecting the ceremonial parade commemorating the 2018 NAF Day Celebration

The Special Guest of Honour and other dignitaries during the 2018 NAF Day Celebration

NAF Chaplains and Iman offering prayers during the consecration of the new Regimental Colours for the Air Training Command and Ground Training Command

The GOH handing over the new Regimental Colour of Air Training Command to the Colour Party

NAF Colours on parade during the ceremonial parade marking the 2018 NAF Day Celebration at the NAF Base in Kaduna

NAF Mi-35M Helicopter simulating the provision of air cover during the Rappeling Exercise

Rappelling Exercise by NAF personnel during the 2018 NAF Day Celebration


Aerial display by NAF L-39ZA aircraft during the 2018 NAF Day Celebration in Kaduna

The Guest of Honour cutting the tape to unveil the newly acquired Mi-35M Helicopter during the 2018 NAF Day Celebration in Kaduna

Newly acquired NAF Mi-35M Helicopter Gunship and its weapons on static display

The CAS accompanying the Guest of Honour on inspection of the new NAF Mi-35M Helicopter

Special Guest of Honour inspecting the NAF Tsaigumi Unmanned Aerial Vehicle on static display

Signing of MoU with the Federal university of Technology Akure

The CAS, Air Marshal SB Abubakar led other dignitaries to view the Historical Photo Gallery during the opening ceremony of 2018 NAF Day Celebration in Kaduna

The CAS, decorating AVM Oyemachi Osahor with the newly introduced categorized Aircraft Engineering wing


Goodwill Message from



t is my great honour to felicitate with the Nigerian Air Force on this auspicious occasion marking its 54th anniversary celebration. This day is no doubt unique and special as it rekindles sweet memories of the founding of this great organization that has contributed greatly to the peace, stability, unity and corporate existence of our dear country, Nigeria. On your day of celebration of patriotic service, I, the Force Management Team and the entire Nigeria Police Force salute the courage of the men and ofďŹ cers who have chosen this noble profession. I recall not only your sacriďŹ ces to keep Nigeria united but also recognize your doggedness in defence of our country in the face of current insurgency and terrorism. The Nigeria Police Force stands with you in this call to duty. Indeed, our men and women are currently collaborating with the Nigerian Air Force in countering insurgency and restoring civilian authority to liberated areas of the North East of our country.


As you mark this day, I and the entire Police Force wish you and your supporting families well as we look to the future with renewed optimism and pride in our country. Happy celebrations 17


The Formal Establishment of the Nigerian Air Force Took Place on 18 April 1964 with the passage of the Nigerian Air Force Act No. 11 of 1964 by the Nigerian Parliament

Swearing in ceremony of rst set of NAF personnel in Kaduna 1964

Commissioning of Hangar at Nigerian Air Force Base Kaduna, January 1966

Head of State, General Y akubu Gowon Discussing with Some SeniorMilitary Ofcers preparatory to his airlifting to Mubi, in the Former Gongola State, Brigadier General Musa Usman (left) Governor of North Eastern State, Captain Natiti (second from right) and Major AD Bello (right) in 1970


Aerial View of NAF Base Kaduna around 1964

Open-air classroom Training Command Kaduna, 1964

Pilot Ofcers Akin Dada (the Tenth Chief of the Air Staff), Abiola, Allam and Legbo in a group photograph with the Indian Air Force Chief of Air Staff, Marshal Singh, on their commissioning in October 1966

Her Royal Highness, Princess Alaxandra of Kent exchanging pleasantries with Nigerian Air force ofcers on pilot training at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in 1975


Nigerian Air Force Ilyushin II –28 Bomber Aircraft which provided Close Air Support to Federal Surface Forces during the Nigerian Civil War

Flight Cadet OC Obierika chatting with Her Royal Highness, Princess Alexandra of Kent during a Royal visit to RAF Linton-on-Ouse in 1975. Looking on with admiration is Flight Lieutenant Walker, the Chief Ground Instroctor

Early batch of SNCOs (1967 Set) to receive administrative training at RAF Hereford in the UK in 1977. Seated from left are Sgts Joel, Ikume, Dawn(RAF), Ajiboye(late) and Yusuf. Standing from left are Sgts Eribibe, Otobotekere, Raji, Eluame and Arije

Lt. Winston Aleyideno (Late Air Vice Marshal) receiving the award for the Best All Round Ofcer from Group Captain Jardine at Royal Canadian Air Force Base Penhold, Alberta Canada

Inside Donier Hangar during CAS visit to Germany in 1984

Alpha-Jet pilots trained in Germany in 1984. Standing from left is Air Vice Marshal Akin Dada. Standing from right is Squadron Leader Uku. Squatting from Left are Flying Ofcers Gbum, Onyemobi, Adamu (who all retired as Air Vice Marshals) with the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany

Helicopter Pilots of SP22 during Mi-35P conversion training in Russia. Sitting from Left are Wg Cdrs Zannah and Gudi while Standing from Left are Wg Cdrs Madaki, Bello,Tsakr, Nzokala and SB Abubakar now Air Marshal and current Chief of the Air Staff

The former Air Ofcer Commanding Tactical Air Command, Nureini Yussuff (late) who later became the Chief of the Air Staff (centre), with a team of MiG-21, Jaguar and Alpha Jet aircraft aerial display pilots at the Lome Air Base for the celebration of the Togolese National Day in January 1988. L-R Onyemobi, Abdullahi (late), Gajere (late), Adamu, Garba (late), Mshelia, Gbum, Chukwu, Akogu and Iya (squatting)



The newly inducted operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle on display at the NAF Base, Kaduna during the induction ceremony




he Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in its resolve to promote innovation and enhance its Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, on 5 February 2018, inducted its first indigenous operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) nicknamed, Tsaigumi. The Tsaigumi UAV, which was produced by NAF Aerospace Engineers in collaboration with UAVision of Portugal, would be used for ISR operations in land and sea domains. It could also be used for policing operations, disaster management, convoy protection, maritime patrol, pipeline and power line monitoring as well as mapping and border patrol duties. In addition, it could be deployed for the protection of wildlife, weather forecast and telecast. Additionally, in the maritime domain, the Tsaigumi UAV could be used for search and rescue, coastal monitoring and patrol of Nigeria's Exclusive Economic Zone. The UAV, which is capable of day and night operations, has an operational endurance in excess of 10 hours, a service ceiling of 15,000 feet and a mission radius of 100km. It has a maximum take-off weight of 95kg and its payload is an electro-optic/infra-red camera system.

President Muhammadu Buhari anked by other dignitaries cutting the tape to commission the new Tsaigumi UAV

In his remarks at the induction ceremony, the S p e c i a l G u e s t o f H o n o u r, P r e s i d e n t Muhammadu Buhari, praised the leadership of the NAF, under Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for the unprecedented feat it had attained in Research and Development (R&D). According to President Buhari, the drive, determination and unwavering support of the NAF leadership brought about numerous significant innovations, not least of which is the Tsaigumi UAV. He added that the attainment of the technological feat is an indication that Nigeria has the needed potential to surmount other technological needs. The President noted that UAVs are an essential feature of modern armed forces. He therefore considered it most gratifying that the NAF had gone a step further than simply acquiring them, to developing UAV capabilities with indigenous technology. “Indeed, this outstanding accomplishment holds promise of both military and economic benefits to the nation. From the military perspective, the added capacity for ISR provided by Tsaigumi UAV would undoubtedly boost ongoing and future security operations”, the President added. The President noted that as soon as the NAF UAV project moves into the next stage of mass production, it would create employment opportunities and generate revenue as Nigeria's first military export product. He therefore commended the NAF for the accomplishment and urged it not to rest on its oars but to strive harder in its R&D efforts for greater innovation. President Buhari then promised his administration's support towards the attainment of greater technological milestones for the nation.


President Muhammadu Buhari inspecting the Tsaigumi UAV shortly after induction

President Muhammadu Buhari inspecting the Mobile Control Room of the Tsaigumi

President Muhammadu Buhari in a handshake with Group Captain Chiechi Ubadike during the induction of Tsaigumi UAV

President Muhammadu Buhari delivering his address at the occasion

In his welcome address, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar reiterated the commitment of the NAF to R&D so as to develop unprecedented capacity to surmount current and emerging security challenges. The CAS explained that the newly produced Tsaigumi UAV possesses certain salient physical and performance parameters, which position it as an efficient tool for curbing Internal Security challenges. The CAS posited that history and modern experience attest to the role of the military in bringing about innovations that have revolutionized not just warfare capability but human capacity as a whole. “Indeed, many of the technologies that enhance human life and safety today emerged from R&D; radar, jet engines, satellite tracking, digital photography, Internet and others”, the CAS added. According to the CAS, today's feat would have been impossible if not for the unflinching financial support that the Service has continued to receive from the Federal Government. Air Marshal Abubakar added that the NAF would not rest on its oars regarding R&D. Accordingly, having achieved enhanced ISR capability, the next step for the NAF is to perfect the development of another UAV nicknamed “Ichoku”, which would be the first indigenous Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV). The President who was highly impressed with the innovation later unveiled the UAV to the delight of invited guests. He was thereafter led on a guided tour of other recent and ongoing NAF R&D projects, which were on display. The projects included the Mi-Helicopter Gunship's Hydraulic Accumulator Diaphragm,


SB Abubakar Aviation Power Pack, Unmanned Ground Vehicle and F4 Rocket Launcher Heat Shield Cone. Also on display was NAFSA Eagle Aircraft, an 8-passenger multi role aircraft that was locally designed and being manufactured at the Air Force Research and Development Centre to fulfil a variety of roles in the NAF. It would be recalled that the NAF overtime has developed the capacity of its personnel across different facets of aerospace engineering. These trained engineers in collaboration with other organizations and institutions, both home and abroad, have worked assiduously to improve NAF operations through design, development and innovation. It is through these efforts that the NAF aerospace engineers successfully produced the indigenous operational Tsaigumi UAV. Tsaigumi UAV is a much more advanced and operationalized version of the earlier produced Amebo and Gulma UAV prototypes. The event was witnessed by several senior government officials and political leaders, one of who was His Excellency, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State. Governor El-Rufai immediately expressed the willingness and readiness of Kaduna State to procure some Tsaigumi UAV from the NAF, once available.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a group photograph with the CAS, Air Marshal SB Abubakar; Chief of Standards and Evaluation, Air Vice Marshal Kingsley Lar; and some NAF Engineers

President Muhammadu Buhari on a tour of the UAV fabrication facilities

President Muhammadu Buhari inspecting the NAF Unmanned Ground Vehicle

President Muhammadu Buhari being introduced to the NAF Eagle Aircraft under production

President Muhammadu Buhari decorating a pilot during the occasion

Cross section of senior ofď€ cers and airmen/airwomen during the induction ceremony

The CAS presenting a memento to President Muhammadu Buhari



NAF armament technicians arming the Alpha Jet aircraft prior to a mission



he Nigerian Air Force (NAF), in the last 3 years has been in the forefront of the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminalities in the country. With the collaborative efforts of other sister security Services, the NAF has succeeded in decimating the capabilities of the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) group substantially in the North East through its unrelenting air operations, thereby creating favourable environment for the surface forces to operate. However, in a final push to dislodge the remnants of the group from their various hideouts, the NAF in December 2017 reorganized its air combat structure in the North East for operational efficiency by establishing the Air Task Force (ATF) headed by Air Vice Marshal Idi Lubo. To sustain the momentum against the terrorist group, the ATF has conducted series of air operations among which was Operation RUWAN WUTA IV following increased terrorists activities and sightings of BHT vehicles in the general areas of Tumbun Rago, Arege, and Tumbun Zarami. The Operation was essentially intensive day and night aerial bombardment of identified locations where remnants of BHTs were attempting to regroup. Also, the Operation was aimed at further neutralizing the resurging threats of BHTs in the northern fringes of Borno. During the Operation, some key BHT locations and threats were identified and attacked via a series of air strikes conducted from 12-19 February 2018. It would be recalled that the NAF in September 2017 conducted the first part of the Operation code named Operation RUWAN WUTA I while Operation RUWAN WUTA II and III were conducted in October and December 2017 respectively.


Aside from the initial identified targets of Tumbun Rago, Tumbun Gini, Malkonory and Saada, intensive Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions were conducted to acquire other targets for attacks, prior to and during the operation. Several of these attacked targets were in a total of 9 locations. To successfully execute the Operation, the ATF conducted a total of 49 missions in 83 sorties which included Air Interdictions (AI) and ISR, within a total of 126 hours 20 minutes. During the operation, a total of 71 litres of MOGAS fuel and 117,144 litres of Jet A1 were utilized by the various participating platforms. The Battle Damage Assessment, conducted after the AI mission, revealed the extensive level of damage and carnage that were exacted on the insurgents, as they scampered in confusion during the strikes. In spite of intermittent weather disruptions, the ATF was able to exact high level of casualties on the insurgents, destroying some of their hideouts and vehicles, further disrupting their activities and forcing them to seek alternative locations to conceal some of the remaining seized vehicles. In order to achieve optimum destructive effects on those locations, the ATF synergized with ground troops to coordinate Nigerian Army artillery bombardments of the locations. This synergy with the Theatre Commander also culminated in the decimation of many terrorists and significant degradation of the seized assets.



…Unleashes Firepower on Boko Haram Terrorists


he Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE on 14 May 2018 commenced another round of air campaign code named 'Operation Thunder Strike' aimed at further decimating the capability of the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) in the North-East. Operation Thunder Strike came barely after the conclusion of Operation Ruwan Wuta IV by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), an intensive day and night aerial bombardment of locations where the BHT were attempting to recolonize in North-eastern Nigeria. The Thunder Strike was also an independent Air Interdiction by the NAF to attack selected BHT locations which were inaccessible to own troops on account of onset of the rainy season. During one of the offensive missions, the newly acquired NAF Mi-35M helicopter gunships successfully unleashed firepower on the BHT at a camp, 9.7km South East of Bonne. An earlier Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance report had indicated the significant presence of terrorists in the camp, following which Mi-35M helicopter gunships were deployed to attack them on 15 May 2018. On approaching the target, the Mi-35M helicopter gunships successfully launched rocket and cannon attacks on the camp, in rapid succession. The footage of the attack, as captured by the helicopter's airborne camera system, indicated the destruction of the targets as the structures within the BHT camp were engulfed in fire while all the terrorists within the camp were also neutralized.

Precision strike by Mi-35M Helicopter Gunship as captured by an onboard camera



NIGERIAN AIR FORCE DEPLOYS SPECIAL FORCES TO GUSAU Establishes Quick Response Wings at Agatu, Doma and Nguroje


ollowing the attack on Bawan Daji community in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State where some lives were lost, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, directed that Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Special Forces be deployed to Gusau, as part of efforts to stop the incessant banditry attacks. Accordingly, the NAF Special Forces, who were trained in asymmetric warfare, were airlifted from Kaduna with the NAF C130 Hercules aircraft to complement the efforts of other security forces on ground to prevent further attack on innocent citizens. The personnel and other supporting staff would operate from the recently established 207 Quick Response Group in Gusau, where they would reinforce the existing Regiment personnel in the Unit in support of the ongoing Operation SHARAN DAJI in the State. In his address to the troops at Gusau shortly before their deployment earlier on 3 April 2018, the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command, Air Vice Marshal Ismaila Kaita, announced that the Special Forces would be further deployed to remote areas of Zamfara State, where they would be engaged in Internal Security operations. He therefore further urged them to effectively utilize their experience and training to protect the lives and properties of the people of Zamfara State. He added that the NAF leadership expects the Special Forces to exhibit the highest standards of professionalism and respect for human rights in discharging their duties.

NAF Special Forces heading to Gusau in Zamfara State

Airlift of NAF Special forces to Gusau

In recent times, the NAF has taken additional measures to enhance its contributions to tackling Internal Security challenges in the country, in fulfilment of its constitutional responsibility. In addition to earlier established Quick Response Groups and Wings and the deployment of NAF Special Forces to various states, the NAF recently established Quick Response Wings at Agatu, Doma and Nguroje in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States respectively to bring security closer to those in the relatively remote areas. The NAF proposes to establish a Quick Response Group in Jalingo, Taraba State to superintend the activities of the 3 new Quick Response Wings. Pre-deployment brieng at the Special Operations Command, Bauchi


Loading of equipment onboard NAF C-130 Hercules

Troops Boarding the NAF C-130 Hercules in Kaduna

Troops onboard NAF C-130 Hercules

Troops’ arrival in Jalingo onboard NAF C-130 Hercules

Troops alighting from C-130 Hercules in Jalingo Airport

The Director of Operations, HQ NAF, AVM N Bali brieng the troops in Jalingo Airport

Troops set to depart Jalingo Airport to Nguroje

Troops departing Jalingo Airport to Nguroje



NIGERIAN AIR FORCE AIRLIFTS DAPCHI GIRLS FROM MAIDUGURI TO ABUJA Returns Them to Maiduguri after Meeting with Top Government Officials


he Nigerian Air Force (NAF) C-130 Hercules Aircraft on 25 March 2018, airlifted the Dapchi girls back to Maiduguri from where they were transported to Dapchi, under armed air escort, to reunite with their families. The return of the girls to their community took place after President Muhammadu Buhari and other top Government officials had received them at the Government House in Abuja on 23 March 2018. All the girls, including a boy and 3 teachers from the girls' school were airlifted back to Maiduguri.

the BHTs in Magumeri and 10 other women from Maiduguri to Abuja after their release. The NAF would continue to operate in the North-East and other parts of the country as well as providing necessary humanitarian supports to sustain its contribution to peace and security in the country.

Earlier on 21 March 2018, personnel of the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE as well as other officers of the Theatre Command received the girls at the NAF Base Maiduguri after their release by the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs). At the NAF Base, personnel of the Air Task Force gave refreshments and necessary medical cares to the girls. After the refreshments, the girls were thereafter airlifted aboard a NAF C-130 Hercules Aircraft to Abuja, where senior Government officials received them. It would be recalled that on 10 February 2018, the NAF airlifted 3 lecturers from University of Maiduguri that were abducted by


Dapchi girls boarding NAF C-130 Hercules at the NAF Base, Maiduguri

The Dapchi girls at the NAF Base in Maiduguri

NAF frontline personnel serving the Dapchi girls refreshments at the NAF Base, Maiduguri

The Dapchi girls boarding the NAF C-130 Hercules

The Dapchi girls on-board NAF C-13O Hercules

The Dapchi girls arriving the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja through NAF C-130 Hercules

The Dapchi girls at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja

The Dapchi girls departing from Abuja to Maiduguri through the NAF C-130 Hercules

The Dapchi girls boarding the NAF C-130 Hercules from Abuja to Maiduguri

NAF C-130 airlifting Dapchi girls from Abuja to Maiduguri





n a bid to extend the reach of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Helicopters, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Mohammed Monguno and the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on 27 February 2018, commissioned an Headquarters Complex, a block of 4 Single Officers' Quarters, a block of 10 flats for airmen/airwomen and 2 helipads at the 171 NAF Detachment Monguno. While commissioning the projects, the Special Guest of Honour, Mohammed Monguno, lauded the monumental achievements of the NAF under its current leadership. He recalled that 171 NAF Detachment Monguno was only established in 2017; he was therefore surprised to see all that had been accomplished within the short period. He described the feats as a testimony to the zeal and commitment of the CAS to repositioning the NAF into a highly professional force in line with his clearly stated vision. The NSA also described the establishment of NAF presence in Monguno as being long overdue, as it would add the much needed value to the efforts of the other security agencies in ensuring peace in the Northeast. Speaking further, the NSA commended the NAF for its immense contributions to the overall efforts at degrading the capability of the Boko Haram Terrorists

NAF Bell 412 Helicopter after landing on the newly constructed helipad in Monguno

Newly commissioned block of single ofcers’ quarters in Monguno


(BHTs) while urging NAF personnel to remain steadfast. He equally seized the opportunity to appreciate President Buhari for his support to the Armed Forces of Nigeria in ensuring the sustenance of operations. In his remarks at the commissioning ceremony, the CAS stated that the projects were undertaken in pursuit of the NAF's commitment to ensuring security in the Northeast. He added that the NAF would continue to deploy air assets in all parts of the country towards ensuring that Nigerians are able to prosecute their businesses in a safe and secured environment. Also commissioned at the ceremony, by the NSA, were a newly constructed Fire Fighting and an Aircraft Arming Bay at NAF Base Maiduguri. According to the Commander of the Air Task Force, Air Vice Marshal Idi Lubo, air power projection has limitations, one of which is reach. He therefore expressed his delight, noting that with the commissioning of the projects at 171 NAF Detachment Monguno, the NAF had just extended the reach of its helicopters.

The NSA, Mohammed Monguno cutting the tape to commission new projects at the 171 NAF Detachment, Monguno

The NSA inspecting one of the newly commissioned blocks




he Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has reorganized its air combat structure in the Northeast for increased operational efficiency. The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this during his opening remarks at the CAS Fourth Quarter Conference, which commenced at NAF Headquarters on 11 December 2017. According to the CAS, the Air Component Commander has been replaced with a Commander Air Task Force (CATF), an Air Vice Marshal (a 2-star General), who reports to the overall Theatre Commander. The new CATF is Air Vice Marshal Idi Lubo, who was serving as the Air Component Commander. The NAF has also appointed three Divisional Air Liaison Officers (DALO) for the 3 Armoured Division as well as 7 and 8 Divisions of the Nigerian Army in the Northeast. The whole idea is to ensure a better coordination of air efforts with ground operations. Besides this, the NAF has appointed an Air Liaison Officer for the Theatre Command to further limit the possibility of gaps in operations. Air Marshal Abubakar further stated that a Nigerian female pilot, for the first time in the history of the NAF, was on the way to the United States Air Force for training as a fighter pilot. The female pilot had earlier this year graduated as the overall best pilot during ab-initio training at 401 Flying Training School Kaduna. In terms of progress made by the NAF in the preceding 3 months, the CAS indicated that 24 pilots had completed their training and would soon be deployed for operational duties. The NAF had also reactivated additional platforms which had been deployed for operations in the Northeast. In particular, one Bell 412 Helicopter had been added to the NAF fleet while work on the second Bell Helicopter would be completed before the end of December 2017. Additionally, one Mi-35P Helicopter would be ready for operation before the end of January 2018, as the overhauled engines needed for its reactivation had arrived in Nigeria. Air Marshal Abubakar added that the reactivation was being done locally to further build the capacity of NAF technical personnel while equally saving cost. Accordingly, the NAF invited foreign technical experts to execute the project in conjunction with its engineers and technicians. The CAS further reported that 2 additional Mi-35M helicopters recently procured for the NAF by the Federal Government had been test flown in Russia and should be operational in Nigeria by February 2018. In all, 5 combat helicopters are being added to enhance ongoing NAF counterinsurgency efforts. To boost the strategic and operational airlift capability of the NAF, Air Marshal Abubakar stated that the Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) of C-130H Aircraft NAF 917 had commenced in Lagos. The PDM was also being done locally by foreign technical experts in conjunction with NAF personnel towards building capacity of NAF technical personnel. Similarly, the Service life of C-130H aircraft NAF 913 had been successfully extended. In the area of Force Protection, the NAF was reported to have trained additional Regiment personnel as Special Forces and deployed them to the Northeast for operations alongside other surface forces. Moreover, the NAF

Overview of participants at the 2017 Fourth Quarter Conference held at Headquarters NAF, Abuja

The CAS, Air Mshl SB Abubakar (right) and Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP), AVM MA Mohammed during the conference

had graduated the second set of participants from its Air War College in Makurdi. The new graduates are expected to add value to the Service in general and in operational activities. In ending his opening remarks, the CAS enjoined the senior officers to be frank in their contributions, identify emerging challenges and proffer ways of further moving the NAF forward. The aim of the CAS Fourth Quarter Conference 2017, which held from 11-12 December 2017, was to appraise progress attained in the NAF since the last Quarterly meeting held in Kaduna 3 months ago. The idea behind the Conference was also to obtain inputs from the bottom to the top such that ideas would be shared towards moving the NAF forward. Participants in the Conference include the Commandant of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, Branch Chiefs from HQ NAF, Air Officers Commanding, Group Managing Director of NAF Holding Company, Commandant of the Air Force Institute of Technology Kaduna and all Air Vice Marshals serving in Abuja. Other participants were Managing Directors of various NAF companies, Directors from HQ NAF and NAF field commanders from its various bases.





he maiden edition of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Special Operations Seminar, which was held in Bauchi from 14-15 December 2017, ended with a comprehensive communique aimed at enhancing NAF Special Operations. The Special Operations Seminar, which was themed 'Employment of Nigerian Air Force Specialized Operations in Curbing Contemporary Security Challenges', is the maiden edition of the seminar since the establishment of the Special Operations Command in 2016. It was organized for operational commanders and other stakeholders to brainstorm while drawing important lessons from battlefield experiences. The Seminar is also intended to improve and consolidate on how special operations could be better conducted to ensure the highest level of operational effectiveness and efficiency. While declaring the Seminar open, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, His Excellency, Mohammed Abubakar, represented by the Speaker Bauchi State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Kawuwa Shehu Damina, commended the idea behind the Seminar. With the on-going counterinsurgency operations in the North East and other forms of Internal Security challenges, he stated that “there is no more auspicious time than now for stakeholders to rub minds on key issues regarding special operations as a critical component to the success of any military operation”. Speaking further, the Governor commended the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for recognizing the significance of special operations in counterinsurgency war by devoting resources to the building of the NAF's capacity for special warfare. Governor Abubakar thereafter commended the NAF for the sustained air operations that paved the way for the surface forces to rescue additional hostages, mostly women and children, from the insurgents. In his address, the CAS, represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Muhammadu Muhammed, disclosed that the NAF cannot afford to be left behind in building capabilities necessary to fight insurgency and other crimes that threaten the peace and security of the nation. According to him 'the employment of the NAF's Special Forces

Main entrance gate to Special Operations Command Bauchi


in synergy with its air operation and other sister Services would further provide our political leaders a wider gamut of military options to effectively and efficiently contain current and emerging security challenges'. Earlier in his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding, Special Operations Command, AVM Sadique Kaita said that there was need for both strategic and tactical Commanders to be in tune with the concept of special operations. He added that the Seminar would further help to facilitate the employment of specialized forces to subdue or neutralize the nation's security threats. Day One of the Seminar witnessed the presentation of two papers, with the first titled 'The Application of Air Power in Irregular warfare: An appraisal of NAF Special Operations in the North East Counter Insurgency Operation', presented by AVM Abdullahi Iya (Retired). The second paper was delivered by Mr Yochanan Alon and centred on 'Combat and Rescue Operations: Challenges and Prospects for the Nigerian Air Force'. Both presentations were followed by interactive sessions during which stakeholders were able to engage in fruitful discussions on the way forward. After series of presentations and stimulating interactive sessions, with inputs from serving and retired military officers as well as selected civilians, the participants came up with practical suggestions to further improve NAF Special Operations capabilities. This is aimed at enabling the NAF to consolidate on current efforts towards meeting Nigeria's contemporary security challenges, which are largely asymmetric in nature. At the end of the 2-day Seminar, participants unanimously adopted the resolutions and produced a communique for consideration and implementation by NAF Headquarters. Speaking during the closing ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, commended the participants for baring their minds on salient issues and for their valuable contributions toward injecting additional efficiency into the conduct of NAF Special Operations. The CAS disclosed that the whole essence of the Seminar was to avail participants the opportunity to examine the current status of NAF Special

Headquarters Complex of Special Operations Command Bauchi

Operations and suggest the way forward. Speaking further, Air Marshal Abubakar maintained that the NAF would not relent in its efforts at always seeking valuable contributions from strategic stakeholders with a view to effectively fulfilling its statutory responsibilities. The CAS recalled that the current security environment in Nigeria informed the establishment of the NAF Special Operations Command (SOC). He then added that the continuous prevalence of irregular threats within the country required that every necessary measure must be taken to strengthen the evolving NAF Special Operations Forces.

Resource persons and senior ofcers at the seminar

The CAS presenting a memento to AVM Dick-Iruenabere (rtd)

Cross section of NAF senior ofcers during regimental dinner night

The closing ceremony also witnessed the presentation of a paper on “Enhancing the capabilities of NAF Special Forces for Ground Combat Missions”, delivered by Brigadier General Clement Apere of the Nigerian Army. The Seminar was later capped off with a Regimental Dinner Night, the first of its kind since the establishment of the SOC about 2 years ago. The Regimental Dinner Night is an age-old tradition of the Military worldwide and the conduct of the Dinner is in promoting regimentation in the NAF, being one of the key drivers of the CAS Vision. The CAS, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, was the Special Guest of Honour at the Dinner Night.

Cross section of NAF senior ofcers during the closing closing ceremony

The CAS presenting a memento to AVM Ahmed Iya (rtd)

The CAS presenting a memento to Brig Gen Apere

(L-R) The CAS, the AOC SOC and AVM Dick-Iruenabere(rtd) during the loyal toast



NIGERIAN AIR FORCE HOLDS MAIDEN COMMUNICATIONS WORKSHOP Re-Designates Communications Branch as Communications Information Systems Branch


he Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Communications Branch held a 2-day Communications Workshop for NAF personnel of the Communications Specialty. The theme of the workshop was “Positioning the NAF's Communications Branch for Effective, Efficient and Timely Support of NAF's Operation”. According to the Chief of Communications at NAF Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Charles Oghomwen, the Workshop was aimed at creating an avenue for NAF Communications personnel to share ideas and suggest how to reposition the Communications Branch to meet the aspirations of the NAF particularly in view of the current security challenges. Additionally, considering the ever-changing global technological development in information and communications, the workshop was aimed at leveraging on the wealth of knowledge of Communications experts and the experience of retired NAF Communications personnel to chart a path for the future growth of the Branch. To ensure that the workshop lived up to its billing, 3 topics were carefully selected for the 2-day workshop. The first paper, which was delivered by Air Commodore Darlington Abdullahi (Retired), was titled “Contemporary manpower development for effective manning of Communications Branch: Issues and prospects” while the second paper was on “Enhancing ICT

Infrastructure being a Panacea for Result Oriented Support for NAF Operations”, delivered by Commodore Christian Anuge (Retired). The third paper, titled “Streamlining the Functions of Communications Branch Directorates for Effective Service Delivery” was delivered on the second day of the workshop by Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola. At the end of the lectures delivered at the workshop, adequate time was created for interactive sessions thereby engendering frank discussions. While speaking during the opening ceremony of the workshop, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, reiterated that the Communications Branch was excised from the erstwhile Logistics & Communications Branch in July 2017 due to the dynamic and evolving nature of employing technology in modern warfare. The CAS added that the establishment of the Branch became necessary to ensure effective service delivery with the ever expanding Information and Communication Technology world. According to the CAS, modern warfare is technologically driven, hence the giant strides of the NAF towards infusing technology in its operations. He further stated that, in particular, the employment of Information and Communications Technology is a strategic tool to enhance NAF operational and administrative processes. Air Marshal Abubakar added that in line with one of the key drivers of his vision which

Cross section of senior ofcers at the workshop

Cross section of resources persons at the workshop

Cross section of senior ofcers during the opening ceremony of the workshop

Cross section of senior ofcers during the opening ceremony of the workshop


is human capacity development, the NAF had embarked on several training programmes for its personnel in software development, cyber security, communications, imagery analysis and maintenance of NAF navigational aids facilities. Furthermore, a total of 12 officers had been trained in the United States of America as software developers while 8 others were trained in India on cyber security with plans to train more. The CAS explained that these series of training, both at home and abroad, would enable the NAF build capacity in embedded systems and micro controllers, components of the autopilot for the locally developed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Air Marshal Abubakar equally revealed that the NAF had expanded its communications capability with the introduction of the Urban Communications System. Similarly, the NAF had trained personnel on the basic maintenance of the cameras on various NAF Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms while some personnel were also being trained on airfield equipment system maintenance. “These measures will save enormous foreign exchange needed to effect repairs abroad”, the CAS added.

Commanding. The Director General National Information Technology Development Agency, Managing Director Galaxy Backbone, Managing Director National Space Research Agency and Managing Communications Satellite were also in attendance. The workshop will come to a close on 20 February 2018, when far-reaching resolutions would be reached. In a related development, on 12 March 2018, the CAS approved the change of the name of the Communications Branch to Communication Information Systems (CIS) Branch. The redesignation of the Branch is in line with Continental General Staff System (CGSS). The CIS Branch of the NAF has oversight functions over 4 Directorates namely Communications, Radar, Information Technology and Space Technology, hence its significance in modern warfare.

The timing of the Workshop could therefore have not come at a more auspicious time given the contemporary security challenges facing the nation. Among those in attendance at the workshop were the Chief of Defence Intelligence, Branch Chiefs from Defence Headquarters and other Services' Headquarters, Commandants of Tri-Service Institutions and some Air Officers'

The CAS, Air Marshal SB Abubakar delivering his address at the workshop

Cross section of senior non-commissioned ofcers at the workshop

The Chief of Communications and Information Systems, AVM Charles Oghomwen delivering his welcome address

The CAS, Air Marshal SB Abubakar in a group photograph with Branch chiefs, Senior ofcers, Resource Persons and participants at the workshop





he Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on 30 April 2018, took delivery of two Mi-35M helicopter gunships that the Federal Government had since ordered from Russia. The Antonov aircraft, which brought the new Mi-35M helicopters, touched down at NAF Base Makurdi. The Chief of Aircraft Engineering at NAF Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Abdulganiyu Olabisi, received the new aircraft on behalf of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar. A combined team of NAF personnel and Russian technicians were also on hand to assist in offloading the partially assembled new helicopters, some parts of which came in crates. In addition, officials of the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Immigration Service were present to ensure necessary documentation. The newly delivered helicopters, which are capable of night fighting, are all brand new and are the most sophisticated in the Mi-series of helicopter gunships. The newly received combat helicopters form the second batch of the fleet of Mi-35M helicopters, the procurement of which the current Federal Government Administration initiated in Year 2015. At the inception of the current NAF leadership in 2015, it was realized that modern Mi-helicopter gunships with nightfighting capability needed to be procured towards enhancing the operational capability of the NAF. Consequently, the delivery of the helicopter gunships would go a long way in adding impetus to the current efforts at combatting the security challenges in Benue State and other parts of the North Central Region as well as other forms of criminality facing the country. In addition, with the delivery of the additional Mi-35M helicopters, the on-going counterinsurgency operation in the Northeast has just received a boost. It would be recalled that the NAF took delivery of the first batch of 2 brand new Mi-35M helicopters in December 2016, following which the helicopters were inducted and had since been contributing significantly to the counterinsurgency and other Internal Security operations in the country. Furthermore, some NAF personnel had undergone training in Russia, as Pilots


and technicians on the Mi-35M helicopters, as part of the contract. In a related development, the NAF, on 14 January 2018, took delivery of the second batch of Super Mushshak trainer aircraft that the Federal Government had since ordered from Pakistan. The Ilyushin 76 Strategic Airlifter aircraft that brought the new Super Mushshak aircraft touched down at NAF Base Kaduna. The Chief of Logistics at NAF Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Bello Garba, received the new aircraft on behalf of the CAS. A combined team of NAF and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) personnel were also on hand to assist in offloading the new aircraft, some parts of which came in crates. In addition, officials of the National Customs Service and the National Immigration Service were also present to ensure necessary documentation. The newly delivered aircraft, which are capable of being used for acrobatics training, are all brand new and fitted with digital glass cockpit. The newly received aircraft, five in number, form the final batch of a total of 10 Super Mushshak aircraft, the procurement of which the current Federal Government Administration initiated in Year 2016. As at 2015, local primary flying training in the NAF was almost grounded thereby necessitating the procurement of the Super Mushshak Aircraft. Consequently, with the delivery of the new Super Mushshak aircraft, primary flying training of NAF pilots at 401 Flying Training School (FTS), Kaduna has just received a boost. Without doubts, the delivery of the aircraft would go a long way in helping to sustain the process of building capacity to effectively prosecute the counterinsurgency operations in the North East as well as other forms of criminalities in the country. The NAF took delivery of the first batch of 5 brand new Super Mushshak Aircraft on 14 July 2017, following which the aircraft were inducted and deployed for primary training of NAF pilots. Furthermore, some NAF personnel had undergone training in Pakistan, as Instructor Pilots and technicians on the Super Mushshak aircraft, as part of the contract.

Delivery of second batch of 2 Mi-35M helicopter gunships

Delivery of second batch of 5 Super Mushshak Aircraft




The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Syminton presenting the Letter of Offer and Acceptance in respect of the A29 Super Tucano Aircraft to the CAS, Air Marshal SB Abubakar


he United States (US) Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, on 27 December 2017, presented the Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) in respect of the A29 Super Tucano Aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF). The LOA represents the official US Government offer to sell US defence articles and services to the Nigerian Government. Speaking while presenting the LOA to the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at NAF Headquarters in Abuja, the US Ambassador noted that peaceful existence in Nigeria was strategic to the security of the entire West African Sub-Region in particular and the entire world at large. Accordingly, Ambassador Symington expressed the commitment of the US Government to helping Nigeria completely defeat the Boko Haram Terrorists and also eliminate all forms of terrorism from its territory. In addition, he conveyed the US Government's belief that the capacity of the NAF could greatly be enhanced by the acquisition of the Super Tucano Aircraft. According to him, the US Government would therefore continue to support the NAF in its capacity building efforts, including the timely supply of needed aircraft spares. The Ambassador also indicated the readiness of relevant US Government officials to work with NAF officials to facilitate the early delivery of the aircraft once payment was made. The CAS, while receiving the LOA, expressed the appreciation to the US Government for its steady support towards sustaining NAF air operations. He also praised the personal commitment of the US Ambassador to ensuring that the Super Tucano Aircraft deal became a reality. Air Marshal Abubakar agreed with Ambassador Symington that the wellbeing of Nigeria was closely linked to those of other African countries, and indeed the entire world, as terrorism is a global phenomenon, which had to


be confronted by all stakeholders. He then reassured the US Ambassador of the commitment of the NAF to the stipulated deadlines in the LOA. Furthermore, the CAS assured the US Ambassador that the NAF would ensure the readiness of proposed home base of the Super Tucano Aircraft in Nigeria before the aircraft's delivery. He further said that the NAF would nominate and prepare all the pilots and maintenance crew to be trained on the Super Tucano Aircraft, ahead of their training in the US. The LOA was later signed and necessary payments had been made to ensure the commencement of production of the NAF's Super Tucano Aircraft.

The US delegation in a group photograph with the CAS and others senior NAF ofcers


Newly acquired Bell 412 Helicopter



he Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 19 January 2018, commissioned another Bell 412 Helicopter for subsequent operational deployment. The newly commissioned helicopter is one of the 2 handed over to the NAF by the Federal Government in 2017, with the first having been inducted into the NAF in November 2017. Just as the first one, the major systems of the helicopter and its surveillance cameras had to be sent to the USA and Canada for overhaul and repairs to restore their airworthiness, having been in containers for about 2 years as at the time of the handover. The helicopter's major systems were later reassembled at the NAF's 631 Aircraft Maintenance Depot (ACMD) Ikeja by a combined team of foreign experts as well as NAF engineers and technicians. The NAF also commissioned the newly reactivated Machine Tools Workshop at 631 ACMD towards enhancing aircraft maintenance capability in the Unit. According to the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the reactivation of the workshop, which was effectively operated last in the early 1980s, is in line with his vision of building the required capacity in the NAF. According to him, that is why the NAF had reactivated a similar workshop at 131 Engineering Group in Makurdi while another at 431 Engineering Group in Kaduna was being reactivated. He further stated that the newly reactivated workshops would boost NAF's capacity for Research and Development as well as for technology innovation, as the moribund state of workshops in the NAF had been a limiting factor. He stated that the workshop was reactivated by NAF personnel in partnership with experts from the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID). Air Marshal

Abubakar added that the reactivation was accomplished at a minimal cost compared with millions of dollars being quoted by foreign vendors. NAF's partnership with UNIMAID thus went a long way in saving cost for the NAF and for the nation at large. Since the reactivation of the workshop was meant to enhance personnel proficiency and productivity, the CAS announced that 20 NAF personnel had been nominated for the Intermediate Machine Tools Course to operate and maintain the equipment in the workshop. While inaugurating the Course, the CAS said, “a set of 20 students was earlier trained in the Elementary Handling and Operation of the Machines. I therefore urge you to make optimum use of this opportunity so that you can add value to the NAF”. He informed the gathering that the reactivated machines could be used for structural repairs on the C-130 Aircraft and the fabrication of some tools required for the day-to-day maintenance of the C-130 aircraft. While expressing his gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his resolute support to the NAF, the CAS also appreciated the enormous support of the National Assembly, especially the Chairmen and Members of the Senate and House of Representative Committees on the NAF, for appropriating the resources required for the Service to execute its projects. Air Marshal Abubakar equally appreciated the partnership of the various Nigerian universities with whom the NAF has Memoranda of Understanding in the area of Research and Development. The Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonisakin, who was the Guest of Honour (GOH) at the event, lauded the visionary and exemplary leadership of the CAS, as indicated in


the manner of executing the various projects. He said the current state of affairs in the nation calls for prudent management of resources and prioritization of commitments, commending the NAF for striving towards self-sufficiency by locally maintaining its platforms. He also applauded the NAF's partnership with UNIMAID to reactivate the workshop saying, “I am particularly impressed with the fact that of all alternatives available in revamping the workshops, you choose to partner with a Nigerian University, the University of Maiduguri”. According to General Olonisakin, “Two ingredients are critical in the development of a robust industrial base as well as an efficient Air Force. These ingredients are versatile workshops and proficient workforce.

Therefore, the decision to fix this moribund machine workshops and train personnel to operate them is a step in the right direction”. The CDS also congratulated the participants of the Intermediate Machine Course, charging them to show commitment, dedication to duty and enhanced performance urging them to add value, not only NAF, but also to the nation at large. The CDS and the CAS, alongside other dignitaries, later inspected the ongoing Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) of a C-130H Aircraft at 631 ACMD Ikeja. The PDM is being facilitated by experts from Messrs Sabena Technics of France who are working with NAF engineers and technicians, as part of efforts at technical capacity building in the NAF. It is noteworthy that the decision to conduct the PDM locally has resulted in huge cost saving for the NAF. This is because freight costs, payment of estacode allowance, exorbitant overseas labour costs and other costs associated with ferrying the aircraft for PDM overseas, have been eliminated. The commissioning event was witnessed by the representative of His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, senior serving and retired military officers, other Lagos State Government officials, heads of paramilitary agencies and heads of government and nongovernmental agencies in Lagos State as well as traditional rulers of host communities to the Logistics Command of the NAF.

Pilots of newly commissioned Bell 412 Helicopter

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonisakin commissioning the newly reactivated Machine Tools Workshop at 631 Aircraft Maintenance Depot (ACMD), Ikeja

The CDS, Gen Gabriel Olonisakin making his remarks during the ceremony


The CDS, CAS and other dignitaries inspecting the newly reactivated Machine Tools Workshop at 631 Aircraft Maintenance Depot Ikeja

The CDS, being conducted round the Machine Tools Workshop at 631 ACMD, Ikeja









Crew Room of 101 Air Defence Group Makurdi

Crew Room of 103 Strike Group Yola

Crew Room of 407 Air Combat Training Group Kainji

Crew Room of 401 Flight Training School Kaduna


Goodwill Message from




n behalf of the officers, men and civilian staff of the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), I wish to felicitate with the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal SB Abubakar DFS GSS psc (+) fwc fdc (+) MSc, the gallant officers and airmen/airwomen of the Nigerian Air Force on the occasion of the 54th Anniversary of the Nigerian Air Force.

commitment of NAFRC to continue to partner with the NAF in providing qualitative pre-retirement training for retiring airmen/airwomen in order to ensure a worthwhile post Service life. Once again, I wish the NAF Happy Anniversary Celebrations.

I wish to use this occasion to acknowledge the concerted effort of the CAS in enhancing operational efficiency and welfare of NAF personnel. It is heartwarming to note that the NAF under the CAS has demonstrated huge capacity in fulfilling its constitutional obligations in defending and policing the Nigerian air space, providing close air support to the sister Services as well as aid to civil authority. This posture of the NAF has engendered professionalism and gallantry which is evident in the giant strides achieved by the NAF in tackling the security challenges confronting the nation. Let me use this medium to reaffirm the 44

Air Vice Marshal

AA JEKENNUGSS RBS psc (+) aowc MSc Commandant NAFRC




Recounting the Events that Shaped the Evolution of the Nigerian Air Force At 54


he Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has no doubt survived the thick and thin of evolution since its establishment through an Act of Parliament in 1964. The Service, at infancy, was prematurely thrown into battle during the Nigerian Civil War of 1967, as it had no combat aircraft to prosecute the war. Interestingly, the NAF has evolved from a crude Air Force to a highly respected and sophisticated Air Force, capable of projecting airpower not only in Nigeria but all over Africa. In a bid to trace this progression, the Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI) of the NAF, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, met with the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to discuss some of the events that helped to shape the history of the Service. Excerpts below: DOPRI : Could you please recount some of the things you can recollect about the formative years of the NAF and the NAF’s contributions to the Nigerian Civil War? CAS: Thank you very much for this opportunity to recount my experience about the formative years of the NAF and the role it played during the Nigerian Civil War. When the Civil War broke out in 1967, I was not in the Service. I came into the NAF about 12 years after the war in 1979. I have heard from my seniors in the Service and read about the crucial roles played by the NAF in support of surface forces to ensure that the war was

brought to an end and favourably to Nigerians and the Federal side. The NAF was actively involved in all of the operations that led to the recapture of most of the territories from the Biafrans. The NAF played the role of close air support, logistics resupply, movement of troops and so on. Even though the Air Force was in its formative or embryonic stage, it was still able to add a lot of values to the efforts that was put together by the country then to ensure the unity of Nigeria. Shortly after the war, the NAF was restructured into 3 field Commands and Headquarters NAF (HQ NAF) with 4 staff branches. DOPRI: What is the NAF doing differently in the conduct of its air operations as opposed to what was obtainable in the past? CAS: Employment of Air Power in the early periods was basically rudimentary in its entirety. I remember one of our retired senior officers once told us that during the civil war, they used to carry bombs in the cabin of the aircraft and when they were overhead the target, they just rolled the bombs out. An Air Force that was doing that in the 60s, today has metamorphosed into a Service where young officers are several miles away from the battlefield and guiding an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to drop bombs and missiles on selected targets. So, if you compare what was there in the 60s to what we have today, you

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal SB Abubakar and the Director Public Relations and Information, AVM OA Adesanya during the interview


1967: The Head of State and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, General Yakubu Gowon discussing with some NAF L-29 Pilots at Ikeja Airport during the Civil War

will agree that the difference is very clear. That clearly shows that we have made substantial progress as a Service. We have not only been able to deal with security challenges bedevilling the country but have also been able to project airpower beyond the shores of Nigeria. In the 90s, the NAF played active roles during the ECOMOG operations and was able to help restore peace in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire. Recently, the NAF participated in an operation to restore democracy in the Gambia. All this is in support of the Federal Government of Nigeria's foreign policy objectives. So, I think the difference between what the Air Force was in those days and what we currently have on ground is so remarkable. This is especially if you consider the fact that the NAF is currently having sophisticated military equipment like the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) which requires a lot of technical knowledge and much professionalism for you to handle and make sure you deliver the weapon or the payload on the target at the right time and the required place. This clearly shows that so much has happened since the end of the civil war. Apart from the UAV, we have very young officers today that are flying fighter aircraft like the F-7 and the Alpha Jet. We also have officers that are flying subsonic aircraft like the L-39 which is domiciled in Kano. In addition, we didn't have the helicopter during the civil war but today we are operating one of the most sophisticated helicopter gunships in the world. The Mi35M helicopter is playing a very crucial role in what we are doing not only in the North East but in different parts of the country. So, I think so much has happened from the 60s till date. The NAF can no doubt project air power not only within Nigeria but also outside the shores of the country. DOPRI: What were the roles played by the NAF in bringing the Maitatsine Crisis to an end? CAS: I was a cadet when the Maitatsine crisis started and am aware that the NAF played a vital role to end the crisis then in Kano. Fighter aircraft were scrambled particularly the Mig-21 to fly over the area and create the desired effects to send the right message to the insurgents. This helped in creating the enabling environment for the ground forces to move into the Maitatsine enclaves in Kano, Bulukutu in Maiduguri and in Yola.

Yenegoa. The JTF then was Commanded by Major General Bello Sarkin-Yaki whom all component Commanders reported to. The Commander JTF intimated us with the overall plan of the commander and what was required of all components of the operation. As Component Commanders, we looked for ways to utilize our assets to fit into the overall plans of the JTF. The Air Component played a very crucial role in terms of patrolling oil and gas facilities in the area as well as ensuring that we monitored all that was happening in the general area of interest which is what is known as domain awareness. Also, we participated in a number of operations, one of which was Operation KUNA, which was a joint operation between the Army and the Air Force in dealing with one militant group that was by Bonny River. We conducted a lot of sorties of offensive operations which led to the surrender of the group. The militants were rounded-up and taken to the NAF Base where they were held before they were transferred to relevant authorities. This helped in bringing to an end the indiscriminate kidnapping of foreign oil workers and piracy in the area. Apart from that, there was a time when we had a situation where there was a threat to one of Nigeria's oil terminals in the atlantic, the NAF sent an Mi35 helicopter gunship even though we didn't have the floatation system. We were able to go right into the ocean and our presence there actually deterred the militants who were not expecting that we would come after them and that saved the facility. We have actually done well in terms of ensuring that we protect critical national assets in our maritime environment during that operation. We are at the moment working very closely with the Nigerian Navy (NN) in Operation Delta Safe that is currently on to ensure that these facilities are safe and the communities are equally safe. Our interest is not centred only around keeping oil facilities and assets safe only but also ensuring that the communities and the maritime environment are safe, so that people can pursue their legitimate aspirations and goals without fear. From the report I am getting on monthly basis, the Units there in Benin and Warri are actually doing well in ensuring that we succeed in that operation. DOPRI: Could you briefly narrate one unforgettable moment as a helicopter combat pilot during the anti-militancy operations in the Niger Delta? CAS: Well, I think what is important and very exciting to me most times is when you participate in an operation in order to secure and stabilize our environment, and after the operation you look back and see that people are going about their normal businesses, pursing their goals and dreams without fear. That is something that excites me and gives me lots of joy. While I was there, like I said earlier, there was an operation called Operation KUNA, conducted by the NAF and the Army. I went there as Commander and flew a lot of missions with our pilots there and

DOPRI: From the perspective of being the then Commander of the NAF Special Operations Group in Port Harcourt at the peak of militancy in the Niger Delta, what could you say about NAF contributions to the success of the operations? CAS: I was the Air Task Force Commander under the then Operation Restore Hope and we were working very closely with the Joint Task Force (JTF) Headquarters located in


NAF MiG-17 aircraft, the rst combat aircraft acquired by the NAF during the Civil War

made sure that I was always there to understand what was going on. The most exciting moment for me during the operation was the surrendering of the militant group after the strike on the Militants' Camp on Bonny Island. After a raid on the Camp, it was discovered that some expatriates were being held in the camp under excruciating conditions. We brought them to the NAF Base, they were examined by NAF doctors at our medical facilities and after then took them to the Mess were they were served hot meals. These were people that were living in the jungle for months, eating whatever came their way and drinking bacteria infested water. To then see them in good condition was so exciting for me as a Commander and as one of the pilots that participated to ensure their freedom. Part of the people who regained their freedom included 8 foreigners in addition to some Nigerians who no one knew were in captivity with the expatriates. To me, that was one of the exciting things I always look back to say thank God I was part of the process that led to the freedom of those individuals. DOPRI: How would you summarize the contributions of the NAF to the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the Northeast in the past 3 years? CAS: Since 2015, the NAF has done a lot as it continues to contribute its quota at ensuring that the Boko Haram Terrorist group is totally decimated. As regard to air operations, the NAF has done a lot in terms of providing close air support for the land forces, logistics re-supply of ammunitions, water, food and medicine. Also, the NAF has been involved in playing other critical roles like medical evacuations as well as causality evacuations. The NAF also has the Special Forces on ground that are fighting shoulder to shoulder with the Nigerian Army (NA) and Nigerian Navy (NN) Special Forces in the Sambisa area. Additionally, the NAF has continuously employed the Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms to prosecute the ongoing war. The ISR platforms are employed to gather real-time intelligence which is always used to plan air operations as well as ground attacks by sister services. The ISR is very critical to our operations, if you are able to have a clear picture of the battlespace, the commander on ground can use the pictures to plan his operation in order to understand what he is likely to meet, the position of the enemy, the kind of equipment they are using. This gives a clear picture of the kind of enemy he is facing and with that, he can sit down and come up with effective plans. For us to conduct air interdictions, we need to understand what exactly is out there and which platform can effectively deal with the situation. Is it the helicopter gunship or the fighter aircraft? Whichever aircraft you are using, you need to know what type of weapons to use which is known as target weapons analysis. Aside from the ISR, we also deployed about 20 aircraft during the unfortunate Dapchi incident before they were returned. We also operate the C-130 Hercules aircraft which we often employ to rotate troops, bring in equipment both

NAF Fighter pilots deployed to ECOMOG in 1990

NAF technicians carrying out maintenance on Do-228 aircraft

for the NA, NAF and element of the NN Forces that are involved in the operation. Another very important component of our strategies in dealing with the issue in the North East is the humanitarian dimension of it, which is about winning the hearts and minds of the people in affected communities. We have continually provided succour for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). We have made it possible for the poorest in several villages to have access to NAF aircraft, which of course belong to them. We fly them to Maiduguri, whenever the need arises, for medical attention and surgeries for those that have serious medical cases. The last medical outreach was held at Rann, where over 200,000 were attended to. A good number of them were flown to our medical facilities in Maiduguri, where they were able to get treatment for whatever ailment they had that could not be handled in their villages. For instance, so many of them who came into our hospital blind, after the surgeries, they were able to return to their villages without their walking sticks. So, this is another dimension of dealing with the people. They willingly come forward to give relevant information, which has greatly influenced successes recorded so far in the ongoing counterinsurgency operation. DOPRI: What has been the impact of restructuring and expansion of the Force Structure of the NAF on the effective employment of airpower in the fight against insurgency? CAS: The NAF has become more effective since the various restructuring and expansions which were embarked upon in the past few years. In management, there is what is called the span of control. When you have a span of control that is too wide, managerial efficiency dwindles thereby resulting into poor management. From the commencement of my administration and now, we have been able to establish two Commands, the Special Operations Command which is located in Bauchi and the Ground Training Command located in Enugu. In addition to that, we have created the Medical Services Branch which hitherto was a Directorate under the Administration Branch. In addition to that, we carved out the Communication and Information Services Branch from the former Logistics and Communications Branch. With the expansion, the NAF has become more effective. For instance, the hitherto Communication and Logistics Branch used to have so many Directorates under it, and it was very cumbersome and difficult for one Branch Chief to oversee all these Directorates effectively. So, now that it has been unbundled into Communication and Information Systems Branch and the Logistics Branch; the 2 Branches are now performing well. More so, we have created 2 Referral Hospitals, one in Port Harcourt and another one in Bauchi. We are working to see how we can establish another one in the North West as well as the South-South zone of the country. This is to ensure that the Referral Hospitals are not too far from all personnel no matter


where they are serving within the country. In terms of restructuring, we are more effective and the whole idea is for us to have a professional Service. Professionalism is also about the structure you have on ground. You can have training and equipment but if the structure is faulty, you will still not be effective and that informed our decision to restructure. Recently, we have gone ahead to establish a Quick Response Wing in Agatu, Benue State. Very soon, our Special Forces personnel will be deployed there to work hand in hand with other security agencies to deal with the challenges of herdsmen and farmer crisis. We have also established another Quick Response Wing at Nguroje in Taraba State. The whole essence is to support the State Government, work hand in hand with the Police and the 3 Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army which is located in that area, to see how we can provide an enabling environment for all the communities there. This is to enable every farmer and herdsmen located in these areas to conduct their daily businesses without any fear. We have also established a Quick Response Wing in Nasarawa State which will take off very soon. I want to specially thank the Governor and the people of Nasarawa State for the support they have rendered in providing the parcel of land and even renovating some facilities to be used by the troops. I want to extend similar appreciation to the Governor of Benue State who has demonstrated a lot of interest in seeing that we get necessary supports in the establishment of QRW, Agatu. With these expansions, we have been able to bridge the gap between force projection and force protection. The Quick Response Units that have been established in Ipetu-Ijesha, Owerri, Gusau and Kerang and others, will no doubt play a crucial role in ensuring that critical assets are protected. DOPRI: Why is the Nigerian Air Force Investing so much on Research and Development and what have been the gains so far? CAS: Well, Research and Development is very important, especially for a country like Nigeria. If we have to rely on our friends for everything we require, then we are not likely to be effective and succeed in dealing with some of the challenges we are facing. While we appreciate the support of friendly countries, that have supported us, we believe that we need to find a way of building capacity. I am aware that in our tertiary institutions, we have highly experienced, knowledgeable and patriotic Nigerians who are willing and ready to contribute to finding solutions to our technological problems. I want to therefore salute them for the support they have extended to us. We have achieved so much by working closely with some of them. Only recently, we were able to repair the multi-function display unit of one of our assets that was supposed to be taken outside the country for repairs. This singular act has saved this country thousands of dollars. We have established a number of R&D Cells, made up of people from the universities and our own Air Force R&D Centre as well as Air Force Institute of Technology. All we do is to task them to address some of the maintenance issues affecting the NAF. In the last few years, we have archived so much in this regard. For us in the NAF, it is our job, but for someone in the university, for instance a professor, we invite them to come and see what we have and convince him to realize that he has a stake in helping to make Nigeria safe again. When he is convinced, he then puts his knowledge on the table thereby assisting in solving some maintenance problems. That is exactly the kind of partnership that we have been working on. We have succeeded substantially, that is why during the NAF Day Celebration, we recognized a number of universities and renewed some of the MoUs so that we can continue to partner with them and thereby move not only the NAF but Nigeria


A 3-ship formation of NAF Alpha Jet aircraft

forward. Through R&D efforts, we have reactivated Machine Tools Workshops in our Units in Kaduna, Lagos and Makurdi. This Manchine Tools Workshops had not been in use for over 20 years. DOPRI: Why is the NAF placing so much premium on training of its personnel? CAS: Well, we believe that you cannot give what you don't have. This is a very simple statement but it is very loaded as well. No matter how much you desire to do something, if you don't have the knowledge to do that thing and the skills to do it, certainly you will not be able to succeed. It is just like giving a stethoscope to a pilot and deploy him to a hospital to treat patients, you are going to end up with disaster because the man is not trained to deal with that kind of problems. In the NAF, we believe that the most important resource is the human being. That human being can only be useful if he is properly trained and has the required skills and attitude and he is well taken care of. That is what is guiding what we are doing. The welfare of personnel is paramount to what we are doing. We must make sure that if we are entrusting a young man with multi-million dollar aircraft to fly and make our community secure, then we must make sure that the young man has a place to sleep. Likewise, his family must have a place to call their home in a NAF Base, and be comfortable. This is to ensure that after a hard day’s work, he can retire back home and say yes I have worked to make Nigeria safe and I have a comfortable place to rest. Similarly, if he has children, we must provide good schools for them. We must ensure that our schools are of the best quality to prevent our personnel from taking their wards to private schools which might take away a huge part of their income. Accordingly, the Service that is tasking him to go and do the job should provide not only accommodation for him and his family, but also a good school for his children. This is to make sure that while he is in the North East flying, he knows that the home front is in order. DOPRI: How would you rate the level of support that the NAF has received from the Federal Government in recent times? CAS: The support we have been enjoying from the Federal Government under the current leadership of the Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari is actually unprecedented. For the short period we have been here, not only are we able to fly and fight in the North East, for the first in 29 years, we are able to go for weapon delivery exercise while fighting at the same time. The last time we had weapon delivery exercise in Nigeria was about 29 or 30 years ago. Last year in Makurdi, during the NAF Day Celebration, we went for weapon delivery exercise, where various platforms, from different NAF units participated in a weapon delivery competition. So much have happened in terms of reactivation of hitherto grounded aircraft and so much have also happened in terms of acquisition

of new platforms. Also, for the first time in several years, the NAF is acquiring 6 brand new helicopters. In addition, this is the first time in about 30 years that Cadets from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) finished their flying training as Cadets. In the past, the reverse is the case as we often had commissioned officers who may have even been promoted to the next higher rank still learning to fly. This was not due to their fault but because the aircraft to train with were not available. However, with the newly acquired 10 brand new Super Mumshak aircraft, flying training has become more effective. As at today, we have recorded almost 700 percent increase in the number of trainer aircraft at the 401 Flying Training School, Kaduna. As I speak to you, we are expecting 2 brand new Mi35M helicopter gunships from the Russia Federation. With all these, you can clearly see that the support we have been getting from the Federal Government is unprecedented. I therefore want to thank the President, his government, the good people of Nigeria and the National Assembly for appropriating the resources for us to be able to go and acquire these aircraft. Today, you have NAF aircraft operating in Gusau in Zamfara State, we

have our aircraft operating in the North East and from time to time, we have our aircraft operating into Taraba State. Some of these aircraft are not the types you see. That you have not seen them doesn't mean that they are not there. We have ISR aircraft that operate at very high altitude, video record what we want and then utilize it or give other security agencies to utilize to deal with some of these challenges. For the first time, we have an operationalized Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). We are trying to produce more because you cannot take just one UAV to war. So having inducted it, understood the system, and now it is in a better position to be mass produced. We are looking for partnership in the private sector to come and take a look at what we can produce and try and see if they can help us by investing in it. We have the knowledge and facilities to produce the UAV but we do not have the resources. That is where the private sector can actually come in. DOPRI: Any message for the personnel of the NAF as the Service celebrates its 54th Anniversary? CAS: I want to first and foremost thank Almighty God, and also to thank all officers and men that are deployed to the various theatres of operation. They are doing well. We are not unaware of the few challenges here and there. We are doing everything as a Service to address them while we are also conveying all these to government and the government is doing everything as I just enumerated to ensure that we are able to discharge our responsibility very well. I just want to urge us to remain focused on the job, not to get distracted by issues that are coming from time to time from the polity but be focused on our constitutional responsibility. Treat Nigerians that are going about their lawful businesses with dignity and respect and be very decisive in dealing with those that are out to undermine the national security and the security of our people. Thank you.

Headquarters Nigerian Air Force




Goodwill Message from THE COMMANDANT



t gives me pleasure to write this goodwill message on the occasion of the 54th Anniversary Celebration of the Nigerian Air force (NAF) for publication in the anniversary edition of “The Airman Magazine”. On behalf of the entire Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) community, I heartily congratulate the Chief of the Air Staff, officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff of the NAF on this joyous occasion. As one of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), the NAF was established 54 years ago and charged with the defence of our dear nation by air. From a humble beginning with few pilots and aircraft to perform just transport roles, the NAF has grown to be one of the largest air forces in Africa with varying capabilities to perform its constitutional roles. It is gratifying to note that over the years of its existence, the NAF has been able to transform to enable it perform its assigned roles and successfully tackle various security challenges in the country which are dynamic in nature. This is no doubt, not without the good leadership of various Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) as well as the dogged, committed and professional efforts of all its officers, airmen and airwomen since its inception. I wish to respectfully applaud the resolute and transformational leadership of the CAS Air Marshal SB Abubakar whose vision of repositioning the NAF into a highly professional and disciplined force through capacity building initiatives has yielded immense results. The NAF under your watch has done tremendously well in the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality in Nigeria. Furthermore, your robust civil-military relations drive has continued to win the hearts and minds of the civil populace, restoring their confidence in the AFN while extolling the NAF for its outstanding achievements. I wish to reaffirm the commitment of the AFCSC towards capacity building of the AFN, which is aptly in line with the vision of the CAS. The College pledges to train tactical and operational level officers in standardized command and staff duties through professional military education to effectively accomplish roles of the AFN.


At this juncture, I want to commend the Airman Magazine, which has continued to be a veritable source of information on the activities and achievements of the NAF. Let me also applaud the members of the editorial board of this magazine for sustaining the high standard of this very educative, informative and entertaining publication. I urge you to continue to take full advantage of the power inherent in the media to further project the image of the NAF. Finally, on behalf of staff and students of AFCSC, I once again congratulate the entire NAF family for achieving this milestone of 54 eventful years. May God continue to give you clear skies as you soar to greater heights.



NIGERIAN AIR FORCE PRODUCES 84 PILOTS IN 2 YEARS Facilitates Training of Pioneer Military Pilots for Liberian Armed Forces, Wings Additional Female Pilots

The Liberian Minister of National Defense, Maj Gen Daniel Ziankahn (retired) decorating one of the pioneer Liberian Military pilots with wing while the CAS, Air Mshl SB Abubakar looks on


he Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 16 April 2018, winged 2 Liberian pilots, who are the first set of pilots to be trained for the Liberian Armed Forces thereby strengthening the long-standing relationship between Nigeria and Liberia. The Liberian pilots had their ab-initio flying training at the NAF 401 Flying Training School (FTS) in Kaduna before the NAF facilitated the conduct of their advanced pilot training at the International Aviation College (IAC), Ilorin, Kwara State Nigeria. Additionally, 12 NAF pilots who completed their advanced training from the IAC and the Afrika Union Aviation Academy (AUAA), South Africa, were winged at the occasion. The Honourable Minister of Defence (HMOD), Mansur Dan Ali, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Mrs Nuratu Batagarawa, decorated the young pilots with their pilot wings. The occasion was attended by the Honourable Minister of Defence of the Republic of Liberia, Major General Daniel Ziankahn (Retired), who decorated the newly trained pioneer Liberian Armed Forces pilots. In his remarks, the Liberian Minister of National Defence expressed delight over the long-standing relationship between the 2 countries, which according to him, has now facilitated the training of the first set of military pilots for the Liberian Armed Forces. The Minister, who was full of praises for the NAF leadership, lauded the NAF for not only facilitating the training of its pilots but also standing side by side with the country during its trying times. The representative of the Nigeria HMOD, Mrs Batagarawa, in her remarks, noted that the occasion marked the second winging ceremony by the NAF in 2018, thus bringing the total number of pilots winged this year to 25. She therefore congratulated the NAF for the sustained efforts at building the needed capacity to continue tackling the security challenges currently bedevilling the country. Mrs Batagarawa further expressed happiness at the current state of affairs in the NAF,

adding that “the NAF is now better positioned to shoulder the huge responsibility bestowed on it by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. The HMOD then reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria to continue to provide the needed support for the NAF and for the rest of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. Earlier in his address, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, reiterated the commitment of the NAF towards building capacity to meet emerging security challenges of the Twenty First Century. According to the CAS, “the accomplishments of the NAF pilots and other personnel, who are undertaking daring missions in the face of real danger are testimonies to the quality of training they have received”. He added, however, that despite the successes recorded so far, the Service was fully aware of the need to train and retrain personnel, including pilots. Consequently, Air Marshal Abubakar stated that the NAF was not resting on its oars but constantly building the required capacity to optimally project air power in the various theatres of operations in fulfilment of Nigeria's national security imperatives. Accordingly, in realization of the drive for human capacity development, the CAS stated that 4 NAF student pilots were undergoing training with the United States Air Force and one of them is the first potential female fighter pilot in the NAF. In addition, he said the NAF had a student pilot training with the Royal Moroccan Air Force and 4 Student Instructor Pilots training at the Royal Jordanian Air Force. “Coming back home, there are 64 student pilots at various stages of flying training in various NAF flying training schools. They are all expected to graduate by the end of this year”, the CAS added. Air Marshal Abubakar then charged the newly winged pilots to conduct themselves as professionals and treat innocent citizens with respect and dignity when deployed to operational units. He however added that they should be very decisive in dealing with


those that are out to undermine the security of Nigerians and that of the nation. In an interview later granted to Defence Correspondents, Air Marshal Abubakar explained that the NAF was focusing a lot on the training of pilots and associated crew, being mindful of the fact that, for the first time in a while, 6 brand new helicopters were being inducted into the Service at about the same time, with more on the way.

The two newly winged Liberian Armed Forces Pilots

Cross section of the new pilots during the winging ceremony

The Perm Sec, Ministry of Defence, Mrs Nuratu Batagarawa being assisted by the CAS to decorate one of the new pilots with the wing

The Liberian Minister of National Defense presenting a plague to the Perm Sec, Ministry of Defence during the winging ceremony

Rep of the Afrika Union Aviation Academy making remarks during the ceremony

The Rector of IAC, Capt Abdulmumuni Abdukarim making his remarks

The CAS, Air Mshl SB Abubakar delivering his speech during the winging ceremony

The Rector of IAC, Captain Abdulmumuni Abdukarim, lauded the initiative by the NAF to partner with the IAC, an initiative that has led to the incountry training of many NAF pilots. The Rector was full of praises for NAF student pilots, who he said, always displayed unusually high levels of proficiency after undergoing their initial flying training at 401 FTS Kaduna. Besides, Captain Abdukarim observed that the revenue being generated from the partnership with the NAF had helped to sustain the College. “This partnership has further sustained the existence of the school and helped to develop local content, as many African countries are starting to appreciate the offerings of the institution”, he added. The newly winged pilots have now been deployed to various theatres of operation to add impetus to the current efforts of the NAF at bringing peace to the nation. The winging ceremony was well attended by families and friends of the new pilots who travelled from all over the world to witness the occasion. Earlier on 17 January 2018, the NAF winged 11 additional young pilots as part of its human capacity development efforts. The winged pilots started their flying career at 401 Flying Training School in Kaduna in November 2016. Upon completion of their ab-initio flying training in Nigeria, they proceeded to South Africa for the basic flying course that qualified them as license pilots, hence the winging ceremony. Among the newly winged pilots were 2 female Regular Combatant officers who qualified as pilots on fixed wing aircraft. The young pilots, who completed their one year flying training course at Westline Aviation, South Africa, were decorated with their pilot wings by the former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), retired Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike, who was Guest of Honour at the occasion. The winging of these additional 12 pilots brings the total number of pilots produced by the NAF in the last 2 years to 84.

The CAS, in a group photograph with some dignitaries at the winging ceremony





Pioneer Ab-initio student pilots trained with Super Mushshak aircraft


he Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 11 May 2018, graduated the first set of 18 ab-initio student pilots trained with the recently acquired Super Mushshak aircraft. Besides, another set of 26 student pilots was inaugurated during the ceremony, which took place at 401 Flying Training School, NAF Base, Kaduna. Speaking during the colourful ceremony, the Guest of Honour, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations at Headquarters NAF, Air Vice Marshal Nurudeen Balogun, stated that the graduation of Student Pilot Course (SPC) 43 and the inauguration of SPC 45 are indications of the premium placed on the realization of the CAS Vision's cardinal driver, which is human capacity development. The CAS stated that the event was epochal because the graduating officers were the first set to be trained on the new aircraft. According to him, the design of the aircraft and its modern digital glass cockpit configuration makes it a choice for quality ab-initio training of military aviators. He further disclosed that the training was completed less than one year after the aircraft was inducted into service, an indication that the investment of tax payers money on the acquisition of the Super Mushshak aircraft was already yielding dividend. Air Marshal Abubakar revealed that the student pilots would undergo further training on high performance aircraft so that the NAF would have more pilots to deploy to various theatres of operation. He

The CTOP, AVM Nurudeen Balogun cutting the tape to commission the newly constructed hangar

Flying Officer AM Alkali displaying his awards

reiterated the commitment of the current NAF leadership to continue supporting and encouraging flying training schools in producing pilots for the NAF. The CAS congratulated the students for their resilience and discipline during the course and urged them to sustain same attributes as they continue the next phase of their military flying training. The course started with a 12 week ground academic phase to prepare the students for the flying phase. During the ensuing flying phase, the students were taught aerobatics, among others, to introduce them to extreme altitudes and develop their skills to retain the control of the aircraft under all conditions. One of the graduating student pilots was a female officer. The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of awards to Flying Officer AM Alkali, who carted away all the available awards namely Best in Academics, Best in Flying and Best All Round. In a related development, a befitting hangar and a 5,900 square meters apron for the Super Mushshak aircraft was commissioned to protect the aircraft from the elements and maximize its use for the years to come. The occasion was attended by the Air Officers Commanding Air and Ground Training Commands, Commanders of co-located Units in Kaduna as well as the representative of the Director General of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency and an official from Dornier AIEP Limited.

Newly commissioned Super Mushshak Aircraft hanger




New RPA pilots posed with NAF CH-3 UCAV shortly after their winging ceremony



he Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 2 March 2018, graduated the first set of in-house trained pilots for its Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), as part of the human capacity development initiatives of the current NAF leadership. The 5 newly trained RPA pilots were decorated with their 'wings' by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base at Maiduguri. The training of the new Pilots commenced in 2016 at the 401 Flying Training School, Kaduna, following which they later converted on the CH-3A RPA. The CH-3A RPA conversion training, which started in May 2017, covered areas such as Ground Academics, General Airmanship, Instruments, Situational Awareness, Radiotelephony, Boldface exercises as well as handling of simulated and real emergencies. The entire programme lasted about 2 years while the CH-3A RPA specifics phase lasted for 10 months, culminating in check rides for each of the 5 new RPA pilots. At the moment, the new pilots each have nearly a hundred hours each on the CH-3A RPA. The CH-3A RPA, which formed part of the training platforms, is currently deployed in the North East, where the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE is using it against Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs). With several hundreds of flight hours on the CH-3A RPA alone since induction three years ago, the NAF has developed commendable experience in its RPA operations. In the process, the CH-3A RPA, in combat role, has successfully delivered its ordnances against BHTs targets with high degrees of precision and accuracy, both day and night. With the recent feat of being able to train the pilots of the RPA in-house, the NAF is now poised to train additional batches of Student Pilots for its RPAs. This would ensure the availability of the required


The CAS, Air Mshl SB Abubakar decorating one of the new RPA pilots with the wing

manpower, at minimal cost, to man the NAF's RPAs, which are expected to increase in the coming years. The NAF recently inducted the first indigenous operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), named Tsaigumi, in its resolve to enhance its Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capabilities. Meanwhile, plans are already underway to mass produce the Tsaigumi UAV as well as develop the nation's first indigenous Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle, which would be in the league of the CH-3A RPA.



A cross section of some senior ofcers including the Air Ofcers Commanding and Branch Chiefs listening to one of the lectures during the workshop

AVM Odesola (rtd) delivering his paper titled 'Command Responsibility' during the workshop

NAF senior ofcers and eld commanders listening with rapt attention during the workshop


he Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 3 January 2018, held a one-day workshop for commanders of its various field units. The purpose of the workshop was to equip new Commanders and remind older ones of their responsibilities and HQ NAF expectations in the conduct of their activities. Consequently, presentations were made on subjects such as Command Responsibility, Administration, Financial Matters and Base Defence. The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Awards Ceremony was also held to celebrate NAF personnel that were deemed to have demonstrated courage, resilience, commitment, ingenuity and dedication to service within the purview of their assigned tasks. Unlike previous CAS Awards ceremonies, today's event was unique because some civilians who added value to the efforts at ensuring the territorial integrity of our fatherland were also honoured. While declaring the workshop open, the CAS, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stated that command appointments in the NAF come with a lot of responsibilities, including management of human and material resources, and hence the need for the workshop. He, therefore, urged all participants to take keen interest in the presentations, which were carefully selected, to prepare them for increased effectiveness in the discharge of their responsibilities. On the CAS Awards Ceremony, Air Marshal Abubakar noted that special awards were conferred on a few individuals who were deemed to have exceptionally extolled the

Invited guest speaker, AVM IA Kure rtd, delivering a paper during the workshop

3 core values of the NAF in the past year. Those NAF core values were said to be ''Integrity first, Service before self and Excellence in all we do''. The CAS was quick to add that the personnel who received the awards represented a sample of the many resilient hearts that the NAF is proud of. While advising the award recipients not to lose steam, he equally enjoined those who did not receive awards not to despair but rather be motivated. According to the CAS, “it is glaring that the NAF cannot be strong without our collective contributions no matter how modest they may be”. On the civilians that were honoured, he said “By their actions, these unique civilians have proved that the quest for peace and security in Nigeria, just like the rest of the world, requires the combination of the efforts of all Nigerians, irrespective of their affiliations or status”. He added that the action of the civilians was a testimony to the popular saying that “security is everybody's business”. The awards were in 4 categories, the first being that of the Best Unit in Research and Development in 2017, an award presented to 041 Communications Depot Shasha and received by the Unit Commander, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola. The second category of awards was for civilian staff, with Mr Armstrong Buba emerging as the Best Junior Civilian Staff in 2017 while Engineer Ajibola Suleimon received the award for the Best Senior Civilian Staff in 2017. The third category of awards was for military personnel only. Award of the Best Non-


The CAS, presenting a plaque to the wife of late Air Cdre Adanu Ochai The CAS, presenting a plaque to the wife of late Wg Cdr S Hedima The CAS, decorating AVM Charles Ohwo with a medal for being the who was honoured posthumously who was honoured posthumously best Air Component Commander in the ongoing Operation LAFIYA DOLE

Wg Cdr Fatai Ganiyu who was adjudged to be the best senior ofcer for the Year 2017 being decorated with a medal by the CAS,

The CAS, presenting a plaque to Flt Lt N Ofodile, a female ofcer who emerged as the best junior ofcer for the Year 2017

The CAS, decorating Sgt Ibrahim Abdulmalik as the best Senior NCO of the Year 2017

The CAS, Air Mshl SB Abubakar presenting a plaque to LCpl Moses Okoye who emerged as the best NCO of the Year 2017

The CAS,presenting a plaque to Engineer Ajibola Suleiman who emerged as the best senior civilian staff in 2017

The CAS,AM SB Abubakar,presenting a plaque to Mr Amstrong Buba who emerged as the best junior civilian staff in 2017

Commissioned (NCO) of the Year went to Lance Corporal Moses Okoye while the Best Senior NCO of the Year was adjudged to be Sergeant Ibrahim Abdulmalik. In addition, the Best Junior Officer of the Year Award was given to Flight Lieutenant Nkemdilim Ofodile, a female officer while Wing Commander Fatai Ganiyu carted away the Best Senior Officer of the Year Award. The fourth and last category of awards was for special honourees, including Corporal Mureh John, who received the Gallantry Award of Distinguished Eagle Class 2. Other award recipients in the fourth category were Warrant Officer Jacob Omodara and Aircraftman Aliyu MS, both of who received the Special Proficiency Award Class 2. Furthermore, the following officers received the Special Proficiency Award Class 1: Air Commodore Obainana Imafidor, Group Captain Albert Bot, Wing Commander Ahmadu Haruna, Late Air Commodre Adanu Ochai and Late Wing Commander Stephen Hedima. The wives of Late Air Commodore Ochai and Late Wing Commander Hedima received the posthumous awards to their late husbands, both of who paid the supreme sacrifice while on active service to


the nation. Lastly, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Charles Ohwo was recognized as the Best Air Component Commander in the ongoing Operation LAFIYA DOLE in Northeast Nigeria. The workshop for NAF Commanders of field units commenced immediately after the awards. Resource persons at the workshop included serving and retired senior military officers that are known to be repositories of knowledge in their fields and specialities. The papers presented during the workshop included “Command Responsibility” by retired AVM Gabriel Odesola and “Administration” by retired AVM Ibrahim Kure. Each of the presentations was followed by lengthy and stimulating interactive session to further drive home the lessons learnt. Two other papers, titled “Financial Matters” and “Base Defence” will be presented by AVM Clement Ogbeche and Retired Major General Shehu Abdulkadir respectively tomorrow, 4 January 2018, when the Workshop will come to an end. The 2 events of the day were organized in further fulfilment of one of the key drivers of the CAS Vision that seeks to promote the core values of integrity, excellence and service delivery.


NAF Special Forces personnel participating in a counter-terrorism exercise



he Nigerian Air Force (NAF) graduated another batch of Special Forces personnel comprising officers, airmen and airwomen, from its Regiment Training Centre (RTC) in Kaduna. With the graduation, which took place on 23 February 2018, the NAF has so far trained well over 500 Special Forces personnel in asymmetric warfare in the past 6 months. The 8week specialized training was facilitated by an Israeli Military Training Organisation; Four-Troop Limited in conjunction with NAF instructors at RTC. It is designed to meet contemporary security challenges as well as add more value to the base defence architecture of the NAF towards enabling the continuous projection of air power. While addressing graduands at the widely attended ceremony, the Guest of Honour, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, represented by Chief of Training and Operations, Air Vice Marshal Nurudeen Balogun, stated that the current NAF leadership has made deliberate efforts at repositioning the NAF into a highly professional fighting force. “Several air and ground related capacity building initiatives have been conducted in recent times to enable the NAF have depth,

flexibility and capability to operate either alone or in conjunction with other sister services”, the CAS disclosed. According to him, the leadership of the NAF would continue to build a highly sustainable and functional air force that would be highly responsive and decisive. He further stated that the NAF, through collaboration mechanisms with other organisations, would continue to develop requisite capabilities and evolve new strategies for adequate response and maintain proper force structure to counter challenges as they affect the well-being of the nation. Air Marshal Abubakar congratulated the graduands and advised them to imbibe the attributes of Special Forces, which include absolute discipline, honesty, intelligence, motivation, teamwork, decisiveness, aggressiveness and courage, among others. The CAS also charged them to put all that they had learnt to maximum use to safeguard lives and property of Nigerians. The CAS urged the Special Forces personnel to submit themselves to the civil authority and protect democracy. “Always remember that your duty is to protect all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic background or religious inclination”, the CAS reiterated.


Earlier in his welcome address, the Commandant RTC, Group Captain Isaac Subi, stated that the Special Forces personnel had been provided with a robust, professional, comprehensive and practical training that was mission tailored. According to the Commandant, the curriculum of the Special Forces Course was structured to make it effective and efficient to meet the everchanging complexities of military operations either during war or in peacetime. The training module involved classroom lectures, practical demonstrations, film shows and field exercises covering a wide range of counter terrorism drills, commando fighting tactics, airfield defence, force protection and aspects of combat search and rescue in addition to other forms of skills required for asymmetric warfare.

The Chief of Training and Operations, AVM Nurudeen Balogun being briefed by a Four-Troop instructor about NAF Special Forces training activities

Cross section of NAF Special Forces personnel during their graduation ceremony

The Air Ofcer Commanding, Ground Training Command, AVM Samson Akpasa decorating one of the graduating Special Forces personnel


Personnel who distinguished themselves during the course were presented with awards. The CAS Award for the first in order of merit in the officers' cadre was given to Flying Officer AD Adamu while the CAS Award for the first in order of merit in the airmen/airwomen's category went to Corporal Eneye ME. The representative of the CAS and other invited guests were earlier treated to unarmed combat demonstration and tactical exercises, which included basic arms drill, commando self defence, command and control and assault mission during hostage taken crises. The newly graduated Special Forces now form the crop of personnel manning the recently established Quick Response Wing in Nasarawa State.

NAF Special Forces Combat Information Centre

Representative of the CAS, AVM Nurudeen Balogun delivering his speech during the graduation ceremony

The Air Ofcer Commanding, Air Training Command, AVM Mohammed Idris presenting an award to one of the outstanding Special Forces personnel

NAF Regiment Mock Village in Kaduna

NAF Regiment personnel during a training exercise at the NAF Regiment Village in Kaduna

NAF Regiment personnel during Ex Ceciduka in Bauchi

NAF Regiment personnel during a shooting exercise in Kaduna

NAF Regiment personnel simulating casualty evacuation during Ex Ceciduka in Bauchi





By Air Commodore PB Phillips




The idea of a National Air Defence Corps (NADC) was mooted by the NAF in a proactive reaction to the Entebbe Airport raid in August 1976 by the Israeli Commandos. The Corps formed the nucleus of the nation's Air Defence (AD) organization for the defence of own airspace. The NADC was responsible among other things, for providing Passive Air Defence (PAD) and Active Air Defence (AAD) over the nation's airspace. These roles translated into identifying and intercepting any hostile aircraft or missile and possibly escorting the aircraft away or destroying the hostile aircraft or missile. In addition, it was to reduce the effect of attacks through pre-initiated PAD action.

he air force, in modern warfare, conducts operations in air environment either singly or in support of surface forces in the land and maritime environment in pursuance of national objectives. Accordingly, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) conducts its operations using the air medium to support surface forces. To protect its bases and ensure force projection, the NAF has a group of personnel referred to as the Regiment. The NAF Regiment Air Force Specialty (AFS), also known as 'the Bulwarks' is one of the frontline specialties of the NAF involved in operations in support of HQ NAF mission speciďŹ c, tactical and operational objectives. The purpose of this discourse is to acquaint the reader with the multi-specialized Regiment AFS. The paper will highlight the history of the Regiment and mention its roles. Thereafter, it will discuss its force structure and career development before highlighting some operations conducted.


After the Civil War experience, the NAF realised that an effective ground and AD system is vital to the successful conduct of all operations. Hence, to complement NADC arrangement, the NAF Regiment was established in 1978 and tasked with the defence of own airďŹ elds at Low Level (LL) as well as ground defence of bases and installations. This became necessary

NAF Special Forces conducting marksmanship training exercise

because the NADC was to be tri-Service in nature and could not meet the peculiar need of the NAF in the protection of its bases and assets. The initial nucleus of the Regiment was formed by converting officers and men from the general duty pool of the NAF. In this regard, there was need to build capacity of Regiment personnel and the Regiment Training School (RTS) was established at Port Harcourt in 1980, solely for the training of airmen for the Regiment AFS. The School was later relocated to Jos in 1983, where operator courses for SAM-7, Anti-Aircraft Guns (AAG) and Point Defence Radar (PDR) commenced. After a short spell in Jos, the School was moved in 1986 to its present location, Kaduna. The Regiment nucleus, in this phase of its development, merely operated the outfit for guard duties and regimental ceremonies as opposed to its establishment tasks. These limited roles shaped the development of the Regiment AFS from establishment owing to misconception of the founding fathers in terms of air threats and right employment. It is interesting to note that from the time of its relocation to Kaduna in 1986 till 2003, a period of 17 years, RTS remained moribund without running any course. As a result, a large number of Regiment personnel did not undergo any upgrading training or initial specialist course. The School was reactivated in 2003, and there was need to restructure the activities of the

School with a view to correcting identified anomalies. Initially the Nigerian Army (NA) Infantry style training was adopted but found to be defective for the NAF as the personnel had a lot of skills in Weapon Training, Drill, Forces Survival, AD and Ground Defence (GD) but not honed to conduct NAF type of ground combat. Hence, not much was accomplished by the Specialty in Force Protection (FP) of NAF bases until 2006 when there was a deliberate shift in the conduct of focused Regiment training. A new training curriculum for the RTS was adopted in 2006. The curriculum was structured in 4 phases namely the Flex, Gunnery, Tactics and Bush Exercise Phases. This was with the immediate benefits of the students graduating progressively through distinct phases and having better assimilation of Regiment tasks. Furthermore, RTS initially ran over 11 courses. However, following a recent review of the NAF Training and Career Development Manual, some of the courses were collapsed into others to attain effectiveness and economy of training efforts. Unfortunately, this could not prevent the attacks on own Maiduguri base in December 2013 and the Air Force Secondary School (AFSS) Kano in January 2014 due to inadequate manpower and requisite equipment amongst others. Following the current security challenges in the country, the Statement of NAF Objectives (SNO) 2015 advocated for


expansion of the NAF Regiment Specialty to enhance its capacity to protect NAF installations and critical National infrastructure. Consequently, the Regiment was streamlined into 2 sub-specialties namely the Force Protection (FP) elements for base defence duties and the Special Operatives Force (SOF) to undertake special operations tasks. RTS was then upgraded to the Regiment Training Centre (RTC) to cater for capacity building of the elements. The Centre was then established on 20 January 2016 and now reports to HQ NAF through the HQ Ground Training Command (GTC). However, the Centre did not resume operations until March 2016. To enable qualitative training of Regiment personnel, the NAF entered training collaborations with the Royal Air Force (RAF) Regiment in 2015 on Force Protection in Complex Air Ground Environment (FPCAGE) while countries like Belarus, Pakistan and Israel have helped to develop own SOF elements. Furthermore, the NAF, under its current leadership, developed a holistic Base Defence Concept (BDC) incorporating trained manpower with technology to enhance them and procedures to guide them. In this regard, the roles of the Regiment were revised to focus on FP and Force Projection. ROLES OF THE REGIMENT In a bid to drive efficient service delivery, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal SB Abubakar DFS GSS psc(+) fdc (+) MSc, derived a holistic vision which is “to reposition the NAF into a highly professional and disciplined force through capacity building initiatives for effective, efficient and timely employment of air power in response to Nigeria's national security imperatives”. These national security imperatives are dictated by Nigeria's interests and current threats to these interests emanate from the spate of terrorist attacks perpetuated by local armed groups using unconventional techniques such as the Boko Haram Sect. The NAF has been involved in operations in virtually all parts of the country to defeat these threats thereby making NAF assets attractive targets to hostile elements. The reality of the emerging Nigerian security environment makes it necessary for the NAF to protect its assets using its organic forces. Though a joint function, FP, which is a “process which aims to conserve the

fighting potential of the deployed force by countering the wider threat to all its elements from an adversary, natural and human hazards and fratricide”, is the primary responsibility of the NAF Regiment AFS. The NAF Regiment operates all Ground-Based Air Defence (GBAD) weapons and protects NAF installations and assets. This involves Low Level Air Defence (LLAD) coverage and protection, defence of bases and associated VPs/KPs, mission essential facilities and airfields. Others include Survive-toOperate (STO) measures, reconnaissance, seizure and security of ground for air operations, provision of point defence in depth and VIP/Force protection. While answerable to the Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP) at the Headquarters (HQ) NAF, the Directorate of Regiment (DOREGT) is responsible for the formulation of policies for the Regiment concerning its development and accomplishment of its roles. These roles can be categorized as Base Defence Operations (BDO), Special Operations and ancillary roles. BASE DEFENCE OPERATIONS BDO encompasses the defence of Nigerian Airspace and NAF bases from the ground through the employment of modern GBAD systems. The NAF has developed a Regiment led BDC for all its bases leveraging on technology and personnel trained in modern FP techniques. It encompasses using surveillance technology, Mobile Air Base Defence Teams (MADT) and a Base Defence Coordination Centre (BDCC) to protect NAF bases. BDO involves Air Defence Operations (ADO), Ground Defence Operations (GDO), Close Protection (CP) Duties, Ceremonial Duties (CD) and mobile patrols. SPECIAL OPERATIONS Special operations (SPO) are conducted in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments to achieve military, diplomatic, informational, and/or economic objectives employing military capabilities for which there is no broad conventional force requirement. These operations often require covert, clandestine, or low visibility capabilities. SPO are applicable across the range of military operations and carried out by NAF Regiment SOF whose tasks include CounterTerrorism/Counter-Insurgency (CTCOIN), Direct Action (DA), Battle Field Air Operations (BAO), Special Reconnaissance (SR) and FP. Regiment SOF personnel are also required to possess air infiltration and exfiltration skills. The NAF capabilities of speed, reach and height afford it opportunities to conduct operations that other surface forces are incapable of. One of such is insertion/extraction operation. The NAF inserts its SOF in theatre of operations either by parachuting or rappelling. NAF paratroopers and Helicopter Backdoor Gunners are necessary elements for elite execution of its special ground operations. It is therefore necessary that the NAF continues to enhance these capabilities through regular paratrooper and rappelling recurrency and other combat trainings. ANCILLARY ROLES

NAF Special Forces in a Causality Evacuation exercise


The NAF Regiment performs the ancillary role of organizing range classification exercises, developing manpower for other branches of the NAF and carrying out other administrative duties. Range classification exercises afford every personnel the opportunity to learn and perfect the act of shooting and weapon handling. It is the responsibility of the Regiment to organize and coordinate such exercises.

NAF Special Forces conducting marksmanship training in lying position

NAF Special Forces in cordon and search exercise

NAF Special Forces conducting marksmanship training in kneeling position

NAF Special Forces in rappelling exercise with NAF Super Puma helicopter

Regiment personnel contribute to the regimentation and basic training of both DSSC officers and newly enlisted airmen. This is conducted through ground related training such as Drill, Weapon Handling and rudimentary IS operations training for recruits at the Military Training Centre (MTC). In addition, they perform administrative tasks such as staff functions at HQ NAF and provide personnel to serve as military aides. The aforesaid responsibilities require a large number of personnel who are well trained and equipped. Hence, HQ NAF continues to increase its recruitment slots in order to provide the manpower and operational requirement necessary to effectively carry out Regiment roles. FORCE STRUCTURE OF THE REGIMENT ORGANIZATION Directorate. The NAF Regiment is organized at HQ NAF, command and unit levels. At HQ NAF, there is a Directorate headed by a Director, who is assisted by a Deputy Director (DD). The DD in turn is assisted by 2 staff officers, the Assistant Director (AD) SF Operations and AD FP Operations as well as other airmen/airwomen that function in the Directorate. The Directorate is responsible for the formulation of policies and issuing of administrative instructions on Regiment. Command Level. At the command level, there is an established office for Command Regiment Officer (CRegtO) in all field commands. The CRegtO advises the Chief of Staff (COS) or the AOC on FP/Regiment matters. Unit Level. The Regiment has 5 dedicated SOF units which are

013 QRF Minna, 207 QRG Ipetu-Ijesha, 209 QRG Gusau, 211 QRG Owerri and 215 QRG Jalingo. The 013 QRF conducts SPO in support of NAF national and international operations, while other QRGs conduct SPO in support of NAF operations within their assigned AORs. The NAF Regiment is further organized at group level into FP wing established at each BSG, while FP squadrons are located in Base Services Wings (BSW). EQUIPMENT AND WEAPON SYSTEMS The Regiment operates various equipment and weapon systems necessary to fulfil its assigned roles. In the BDO role, the Regiment employs an integrated equipment and weapon system, which comprise a Control and Reporting (C&R) system, communications and weapon system. The C&R system consists of AD radar while the communication system provides a communication link between all AD components. This link is enabled with telephones, Facsimile and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band radios while Very High Frequency (VHF) and High Frequency (HF) band radios are used as back up. The weapon system consists of SAMs such as the SAM-7 and AAG comprising the 40mm/70 Bofors and the 25mm AAG. Considering the challenges posed by modern air assets with standoff capabilities of over 100nm (about 185.2km), there is a need for credible Early Warning systems to alert own fighter or missile interceptors to contain such threat. In the light of this, the NAF is working on a proposal to purchase modern AD weapon systems such as the Igla Missile and Tunguska M1 Mixed AD system as well as new AD Radar such as the Kochulga and 36D6 surveillance radar systems.


(BRAC - R3), FPCAGE/Intermediate Regiment Airmen Course (IRAC – R2) and Advanced Regiment Airmen Course/ARI AD (ARAC - R1). On the other hand, the skill courses are the Drill Instructor's Course (DRIC), Regimental Sergeant Major Course (RSMC), V I P P S , S F, P a r a t r o o p e r a n d H e l i c o p t e r B a c k d o o r Gunner/Rappelling, etc. Personnel also train at Nigerian Army Artillery, Infantry and Amphibious schools as well as foreign institutions. In this regard, 450 Regiment personnel have been developed into 4 x SOF sqns (4 officers and 110 airmen) while Non-Trained (NT) Regiment personnel are trained in FPCAGE from basic to intermediate levels and deployed in minimum groupings of flights (one officer and 30 airmen). So far, the trained FP elements have been posted to NAF Maiduguri, Yola, Port Harcourt, Makurdi and Kaduna while the SOF elements have been engaged in various operations in and outside the country. OPERATIONS CONDUCTED The NAF Regiment has been involved in several operations outside and within Nigeria. These are mentioned in subsequently. OUTSIDE NIGERIA NAF Regiment personnel were first involved in outside operations in the ECOMOG operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone as observers. However, not much was done in FP and SOF roles during that era. Nonetheless, in 2012, the NAF Regiment served creditably as FP elements for the NAF contingent deployed to Niger Republic during the AFISMA operations. WITHIN NIGERIA NAF Special Forces during a simulation exercise

CAREER DEVELOPMENT RECRUITMENT Officers. Enlistment for Regiment officers in the NAF was through the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) only. However, since 2012, the NAF has begun absolving DSSC officers into the Regiment with 5 officers of DSSC 20 and recently over 50 officers from other AFS. The NAF could continue to deploy to the AFS, officers of the rank of squadron leader and below who could not make flying and other interested officers especially those who acquired airborne wings from the NDA. In addition, the NAF could consider commissioning airmen of the Regiment AFS who are 35 years and possess first degrees. This category of airmen would be beneficial to the Service since they have undergone both military and skilled Regiment training.

Within Nigeria and especially from 2011, the NAF Regiment has been involved in all IS operations performed by the AFN especially in SOF roles in the North East Nigeria from 2015. The NAF Regiment SOF is also participating in OP KARAMIN GORO in Minna and conducted independent operations such as OP EXTRACT SMART in Bauchi in 2017. CONCLUSION By and large, the Regiment has developed into a formidable ground combat element of the NAF that enables its personnel sleep and operate professionally knowing that they are safe and secure because they have the 'Bulwarks'.

Airmen. NAF recruitment for the airmen occurs about twice each year in recent times. Hitherto, the number of personnel posted to the Regiment was inadequate. Currently, the NAF deploys 500 personnel to the Regiment AFS from every recruitment exercise, which is commendable. TRAINING To best employ the Regiment personnel the DOREGT adopted the 'Mission Capable Training' and 'Train To Deploy' concepts. Hence, to ensure appropriate capacity building of the Regiment personnel, the RTC conducts all training courses for the Regiment and recently other Services. Meanwhile, the Regiment Training Centre (RTC) Kaduna runs some specialist and ancillary courses. The specialist courses include Basic Regiment Officers Course (BROC), Basic Regiment Airmen Course


NAF Regiment personnel conducting eld training exercise

Goodwill Message from THE COMMANDANT



t is indeed an honour and a great privilege for me to identify with the proud history of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on the auspicious occasion of the 54th Anniversary of the Service. Since its inception in 1964, the NAF has acquitted itself well, during war and in peace time. The nation and particularly the sister Services have continually depended on the expertise of the Service for accurate and timely intervention across the spectrum of airpower, combat and humanitarian operations. As we reflect on the past 54 years of dedicated and outstanding service, it is difficult to forget the sacrifices of the officers and airmen who were proudly engaged in the fight on various fronts from the Civil War to the conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone as well as the on-going counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations in the North East zone of the Country.

Family for the feat achieved. Indeed, through your tireless efforts, you have helped in carving an enviable niche for the NAF both at home and abroad. I sincerely commend you for your sterling achievements while remaining confident that the future will be characterized by even higher standards of excellence that have marked your performance in the past. Once again, on behalf of the National Defence College community, I congratulate the NAF on this milestone attainment. It is our fervent prayers that the NAF will let its own motto of "Willing, Able and Ready" continue to inspire it to greater heights in service to our beloved nation, Nigeria, I wish you safer skies and the best of the years ahead. Please accept my hearty congratulations. Happy 54th Anniversary Celebration.

It is commendable that the NAF has had a positive influence on the security and national development landscape of Nigeria which is no mean an achievement. The giant strides in pioneering incountry research and innovation in numerous aspects of military technology ranging from the development of unmanned aerial and ground vehicles (UAVs and UGVs) as well as other products is a veritable testimony that the NAF is poised to build on its distinguished heritage for years to come. The National Defence College, as always remains seized and committed to supporting both the capacity building and intellectual development of the NAF. As such, the outcome of the cutting-edge research in national security and defence issues in the College is always available in support of NAF transformation programmes. Let me therefore seize this opportunity to heartily congratulate the past leaders of the NAF and particularly the current Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar and the entire NAF

Rear Admiral AA OSINOWO Commandant National Defence College Nigeria 65




he Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 2 February 2018, graduated 1,544 recruits, who had just successfully completed the Basic Military Training Course (BMTC) 38/2017 at the NAF's Military Training Centre (MTC), Kaduna. The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was the Reviewing Officer and Guest of Honour during the colourful Passing Out Parade (POP) ceremony, stated that the NAF had trained over 7,000 young Nigerians as airmen/airwomen since July 2015, when the current NAF leadership assumed office. This, according to him, is in consonance with the NAF's aspiration of boosting the capacity of the Service to curtail insecurity and insurgency in Nigeria. It is also in line with the Federal Government's policy of employment generation for the teeming qualified youths desirous to serve the country through the NAF. He then expressed his delight that the efforts made by the current administration at expanding the training facilities have continued to meet the desired objectives. Speaking further during the Passing Out Parade ceremony held on the Parade Ground of MTC, Air Marshal Abubakar said the 6 months of rigorous training was designed to prepare the recruits for a challenging but rewarding career. He added that he was not too surprised that 55 of those who started the training could not withstand the strenuous training. He therefore congratulated the graduands for their resilience to withstand the rigours of training while announcing that they would be further equipped through series of specialist training courses in the course of their career in the NAF. Air Marshal Abubakar also charged the graduands to take advantage of the knowledge and skill acquired, from the Internal Security Module, to safeguard lives and properties wherever and whenever they were deployed for Internal Security duties. He therefore urged them to always respect human rights in the performance of their duties, a practice for which the NAF is renowned. In addition, the CAS reminded the new recruits of their civic responsibility and that they were subject to both military and civil laws. “You should always remember that


The SGOH, Air Mshl SB Abubakar reviewing the parade during the Passing out Parade of Recruit of BMTC 38/2017

The SGOH, presenting award to one of the best graduating Recruits

good civil-military relations is a key component of a civilized society. You must therefore resist the temptation to brutalize civilians. Your duty is to protect all Nigerians irrespective of their political, ethnic, religious or other inclinations”, he added. Air Marshal Abubakar expressed profound gratitude to Mr President, who has continued to give priority attention to the NAF to meet its operational requirements and welfare issues. He then assured Mr President of the NAF's unalloyed loyalty and total commitment to his administration's aspiration for a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria. One of the highlights of the occasion was the presentation of awards, by the CAS, to the best

3 graduands in order of merit. The award recipients were Aircraftwoman Ololade Olabisi, Aircraftman Elekwachi Ifeanyi and Aircraftman Ukuta Michael, three of who won the CAS Award, AOC GTC Award and Commandant MTC Award respectively. It was the first time in the history of the NAF that a female would come first during BMTC. The POP ceremony was attended by many senior military officers, serving and retired, as well as dignitaries, including the representatives of the Governors of Kaduna and Yobe States. Another set of successful recruits would soon commence the BMTC at MTC, NAF Base Kaduna.

Recruits during a range classication exercise

Recruits during an obstacle crossing exercise

Pitching of Tents by recruits during a bush camping exercise

Cross section of recruits receiving lecture at Shittu Alao Multipurpose Hall in Kaduna


The Reps of the Governor of Kaduna and Yobe States at the POP of BMTC 38/2017

The CAS delivering his address during the POP

Cross section of some senior military ofcers present at the event

Air Cdre Noah Oyibo, presenting colour to the Champion Squadron

Air Cdre Paul Masiyer and AVM Olatokunbo Adesanya at the event

(R-L) SGOH, Air Mshl Sadique Abubakar and AOC GTC, AVM Samson Akpasa during the POP

The CTOP, AVM Nurudeen Balogun and AOC ATC, AVM MA Idris during Recruits of BMTC 38/2017 in a slow march during their POP the POP


Recruits of BMTC 38/2017 giving three hearty cheers to the reviewing ofcer



DRILL COMPETITION Reignites Regimentation, Military Bearing and Teamwork


s part of efforts to further boost regimentation, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has successfully organized the first Inter-Command Drill Competition in its history. The Drill Competition, which was conducted on the parade ground of the Military Training Centre Kaduna, was brought to a close on 19 December 2017. The competition was aimed at enhancing regimentation, military bearing as well as fostering cohesion and teamwork among NAF personnel. Seven teams, representing the Headquarters Nigerian Air Force and each of the 6 commands namely Tactical Air Command, Special Operations Command, Mobility Command, Air Training Command, Ground Training Command and Logistics Command, participated in the Competition. The appearance, rifle cleanliness and the extent of safety precautions adopted by the various teams formed part of the assessment criteria. In addition, participating teams were assessed in three types of drill exercises, known as legs, each commanded by 3 different members of each team. The first leg was the Quick March while the second leg was the Slow March and the third leg was the Arms Drill. All participating teams exhibited high standards of drill, indicative of the high level of professionalism and

discipline in the NAF, and the audience was thrilled by their performance. The Guest of Honour during the occasion, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, expressed his delight to be at the maiden Inter-Command Drill Competition in the NAF. According to him, the drill competition is one of the ways of actualizing his vision for the NAF, one of the Vision's key drivers being to improve regimentation, esprit de corps as well as to enhance inter-Service cooperation. The CAS restated his belief that the actualization of that particular key driver would impact positively on NAF operations with a view to confronting the nation's security challenges. He further stated that the importance of drill in a military force cannot be over emphasized, being the bedrock of military discipline upon which all other tenets are built. Air Marshal Aubakar therefore directed all personnel to be proactive and to rededicate themselves to their personal security, security of bases as well as to the protection of critical assets and key national installations. In addition, he reiterated that the NAF, and indeed the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), must at all times remain apolitical in the discharge of its constitutional duties. He therefore urged personnel to promote

NAF personnel in a quick march during the Inter-Command Drill Competition


the existing cordial relationship between members of the AFN and the civil populace. He then thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support to the NAF through timely provision of resources, thereby enabling the Service to meet its operational objectives. The climax of the event was the presentation of gold, silver and bronze trophies to the first, second and third teams respectively. The first prize was won by the Air Training Command while the second position went to the Ground Training Command. The Tactical Air Command came third in the Drill Competition. Prize was also given to Pilot Officer PC Njoku, who was adjudged as the best parade commander during the Competition. Judges for the Competition were drawn from the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy and the NAF. A team of assessors inspecting a guard during the competition

NAF personnel in Arms Drill during the Competition

SGOH, Air Mshl SB Abubakar anked by AOCs during the closing ceremony of the Inter-Command Drill Competition


SGOH, Air Mshl SB Abubakar presenting the First prize trophy to ATC



Crossing section of Regimental Sergeant Majors during the meeting with the CAS

Cross section of Senior Non-Commissioned Ofcers during the meeting with the CAS


he Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on 4 January 2018, held a meeting with Air Warrant Officers (AWOs) and Regimental Sergeant Majors (RSMs), who are the links between the Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Officers of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF). The meeting, which held immediately after the conclusion of a recent workshop for NAF Field Commanders, was aimed at further consolidating on the existing smooth working relations between the NAF leadership and all ranks within the Service. Consequently, briefs were entertained from AWOs from HQ NAF, the 6 NAF Commands and tri-service institutions. The briefs were mostly focused on areas of concern for airmen/airwomen and were targeted towards the improvement of the general welfare of personnel. In his remarks at the meeting, the CAS reiterated the important role of AWOs and RSMs in all NAF units. He reminded them that, as the link between the Officers' Cadre and the other ranks, it is expected that RSMs remain loyal and impartial in the discharge of their responsibilities. He enjoined them to always give necessary feedbacks to their Commanders to enhance and contribute to the overall policy direction and advancement of the Service. In addition, he said the AWOs and RSMs are expected to help the Service in limiting wastages in pipe-borne water and electricity consumption. Air Marshal Abubakar also laid emphasis on the expected role the AWOs and RSMs in promoting regimentation and discipline. He then urged them to continue to give their best to ensure that the NAF remains a pride to all Nigerians. It would be recalled that in December 2017, the CAS held a similar conference with Branch Chiefs, Air Officers Commanding, Directors, Commanders and all Air Vice Marshals in Abuja. The conferences were organized in line with the bottom-top approach to policy formulation in the NAF, as it provides a very effective feedback mechanism from the field, which has contributed immensely to the attainment of NAF objectives.

The CAS, Air Marshal SB Abubakar addressing participants at the meeting





he development of the TSAIGUMI Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) takes its root from the initiative of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to enhance the intellectual capacity of its personnel in the field of aerospace engineering. Several officers were therefore sent abroad to study in a wide range of aerospace engineering specialties. This policy spanned a number of years and provided the NAF with a pool of qualitatively trained aerospace engineers. It was also during this period that the Amebo series of UAVs were designed and built as part of the Master's degree programme in Aerospace Vehicle Design at Cranfield University, United Kingdom. At about this time there was the realization that UAVs would play prominent roles in the future of military aviation and even commercial aviation. The NAF thus tasked these engineers to design and develop a homegrown UAV in December 2012 with the objective of enhancing NAF operations. Subsequently, the first prototype of the UAV nicknamed GULMA was unveiled on 13 December 2013 by then President Goodluck Jonathan at the NAF Base Kaduna.


Software development test for Tsaigumi UAV

Fabrication of component parts of Tsaigumi UAV

As aircraft development is a long-drawn-out process, development and testing of the prototype UAV commenced after the unveiling. This was in order to explore the aircraft's flight envelope and generate data for the future operationalization of the aircraft. The flight testing process was particularly rejuvenated and given accelerated attention when the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal SB Abubakar assumed office in July 2015. He encouraged out-of-the-box thinking and innovative approaches to the technical challenges faced during the flight testing phase. The data generated was therefore used by NAF Aerospace engineers to conceptualize and design the operational version of the UAV. The concept of the operational version of the UAV was approved by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal SB Abubakar in Aug 15 and christened TSAIGUMI. The development of the TSAIGUMI UAV was completed in Nov 2017 after a series of ground and flight flights as well as military exercises. This was culminated by its induction into the NAF on the 15 Feb 18 by the President and Commander – in – Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari.

Assembling of component parts of Tsaigumi UAV

Coupling stage of the production of Tsaigumi UAV

The aircraft is capable of day and night operations, with an operational endurance of 8 hours and a radius of action of 80 km. The TSAIGUMI UAV is therefore suitable for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in land and maritime domains for military applications. Civilian roles of the aircraft include pipeline monitoring, border patrol, internal security operations and disaster management. It is worthy of note that the development process of the TSAIGUMI UAV has afforded the NAF the impetus to commence indigenous aircraft development. This will in no small measure provide the needed boost for the indigenous production of military hardware in Nigeria and reduce the country's dependence on foreign products.


Goodwill Message from



he Nigerian Air Force is the definitive portrait of the future of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. Proud, confident, forward thinking, innovative, dependable, diligent and dedicated. The only Service to have been conceived by an independent Nigeria, our Air Force stands tall amongst its peers for all the right reasons. This is due in part to a culture of excellence that was thrust upon the men and women that began the Nigerian Air Force, a gold standard that has been delicately nurtured and passed along to succeeding generations by a combination of outstanding leadership and an obsession for being the best. I am honoured to be part of this remarkable heritage. An astonishing heritage that includes participating with distinction in all major military campaigns Nigeria has been involved in. At its infancy, Nigerian Air Force pilots, engineers and technicians showed their mettle in the endeavour to preserve Nigeria's unity during the civil war. Thereafter, the Air Force's extraordinary expeditionary missions ensured operational success in our campaigns in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Most importantly, the heroism and sacrifices of our officers, airmen and airwomen in Operation Zaman Lafiya and Operation Lafiya Dole have contributed significantly to our national enterprise for prevailing over terrorism and preserving the safety and security of our people. The Nigerian Air Force has recognized that it must prepare for future contingencies even while actively resolving today's challenges. It has thus expanded its focus to encompass relevant developments in the air and cyber domains, as well as the special operations spectrum. Already, the amazing feats of today's Nigerian Air Force leadership are laying a solid foundation for tomorrow's air warfighters through a well-articulated vision and prudent utilization of 74

resources. I am thus assured that the Nigerian Air Force would remain the quintessential source of security and pride to the people of Nigeria. I am also confident that our upcoming men and women will continue to honour the Air Force and the country with their service. At 54 years old, the Nigerian Air Force's history is the shortest amongst the Services. Nonetheless, it is also the success story worthy of the most celebration. Therefore, on behalf of the Intelligence community, I offer our congratulations to the leadership, officers, airmen and airwomen of our esteemed Air Force. We thank you for your exemplary service, and we wish you an exceptional future of preserving the security and prosperity of our great nation.




he University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) has expressed its willingness to partner with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in the area of training as well as Research and Development (R & D) to support the Service in effectively carrying out its statutory role of defending the nation. The Vice Chancellor of UNN, Professor Benjamin Ozumba, stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at Headquarters NAF, Abuja on 24 January 2018. The Vice Chancellor stated that the University decided to partner with the NAF because of its giant strides in R & D and the consistent display of professionalism in the discharge of its role. While commending the NAF for its efforts towards attaining self reliance, Professor Ozumba added that the NAF is one of the Government agencies that are obviously in tune with the changes in the 21st Century. According to him, the world has gone beyond the era of commodity driven economy to a knowledge-based economy. He added that the efforts of the current NAF leadership at improving the knowledge base of its personnel, through sustained R & D activities, were indeed commendable. The Vice Chancellor therefore reiterated the readiness and capability of the Institution to collaborate with the NAF in all aspects of R & D to ensure that the NAF continues to successfully accomplish its constitutional tasks. He further disclosed that the UNN had been consistently ranked Number 1 in the Google Scholarly Search in West Africa, for the past 3 years, a testimony of the University's commitment to academic endeavours. The Vice Chancellor also announced the plans of UNN to establish a science park towards advancing technological knowledge. Additionally, Professor Ozumba seized the opportunity to invite the NAF to be part of the Institution's Innovation Conference scheduled for February 2018.

The CAS, Air Marshal SB Abubakar, making remarks during the visit by UNN ofcials

The VC UNN, Prof Benjamin Ozumba, presenting a souvenir to Air Marshal SB Abubakar

Responding, the CAS stated that the NAF would be willing to partner with UNN in the area of aircraft maintenance, building technology and other relevant fields. Air Marshal Abubakar further stated that the NAF had, over 5 years ago, identified the need to partner with academic institutions in Nigeria. Accordingly, the NAF had already signed Memoranda of Understanding with 15 other Nigerian universities and the partnerships had started yielding several benefits, especially in the enhancement of NAF's aircraft maintenance capacity. The CAS, therefore, stated the readiness of the NAF to participate in the establishment of the science park at UNN. He also promised that the NAF would be adequately represented in the Institution's upcoming Innovation Conference. The CAS immediately directed that a team of appropriate NAF officers from the Air Force Research and Development Centre as well as from the Air Force Institute of Technology, both in Kaduna, be composed to visit UNN with a view to identifying specific areas of potential partnership between both organizations.

Air Marshal SB Abubakar presenting a memento to the visiting VC UNN






he Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has expressed the desire of the University to have closer ties with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in the area of Research and Development (R&D). The Vice Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Development Services, Prof Folasade Ogunsola, made this known when she led a team from the University to pay a courtesy call on the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar on 22 February 2018. The visiting Vice Chancellor, who used the occasion to congratulate the NAF on the recent induction of its first indigenous operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), stated that the visionary leadership of Air Marshal Abubakar is, without doubts, contributing meaningfully to national development. While noting that the military drives R&D globally, Prof Ogunsola stated that the University of Lagos also possesses required competencies and would love to partner with the NAF to achieve the desired technological development in Nigeria. According to her, challenges serve as a motivation for the University to achieve more, adding that some of the University's areas of competencies include nanotechnology, coding, cyber security and medical sciences, amongst others. She therefore expressed her belief in a mutually beneficial relationship between the NAF and the UNILAG possibly leading to investigation of the crashworthiness of NAF's UAVs and the development of software for UAVs, for examples. Prof Ogunsola also appealed to NAF authorities to encourage its personnel to make use of the University's various certification programmes to validate their skills, as that would make them relevant both in active service and upon retirement. She then requested that the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both parties, which would expire in May 2018, be renewed and expanded in scope.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Development Services, Unilag, Prof Folasade Ogunsola making remarks during her courtesy visit to the CAS.


In his response, Air Marshal Abubakar told the visiting Vice Chancellor that it was practically impossible to resolve the nation's security challenges without a strong and viable Air Force that is capable of effectively projecting air power even beyond our shores. The CAS revealed that the NAF had relied solely on other countries for even the most basic of its aircraft maintenance needs. This, he noted had posed a huge challenge to the effective and efficient delivery of airpower and hence, the need to look inward towards developing indigenous capacity. The CAS remarked that the University of Lagos had on its staff strength, individuals who are familiar with the technological challenges of the NAF and who also possess the skills to resolve them. He mentioned some of the challenges and reiterated the NAF's desire to leverage on those competencies to address some of its technological needs in line with the subsisting MoU between both parties. Air Marshal Abubakar immediately directed the NAF's Chief of Standard and Evaluations to commence the process of reviewing the subsisting MoU to expand its scope by including newly identified technical needs of the NAF. The CAS equally seized the opportunity to announce plans by the NAF to hold an R&D Night during which the technological feats of its partnering academic and other institutions would be celebrated. The NAF has been at the forefront of R&D in Nigeria, especially in aerospace technology and has in the process, signed MoU with several Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions, research agencies as well as strategic industries. The MoUs have so far yielded tremendous benefits in the areas of aircraft and equipment maintenance with attendant positive impact on NAF air operations.

Air Marshal SB Abubakar in a group photograph with Prof Ogunsola and members of her entourage




he Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 24 January 2018, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigeria Machine Tools (NMT), Osogbo as part of the efforts of its current leadership to reinforce the culture of selfreliance. The signing of the MoU is also aimed at furthering NAF's strategic partnerships with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) towards enhancing research and development. Accordingly, some of the areas of partnership identified in the MoU include training, machining, fabrication, casting as well as research and development. The MoU also covers the development and provision of Personal, Vehicular and Aircraft Protective Equipment. At the signing ceremony, which took place at the Headquarters NAF, Abuja, the Managing Director of NMT, Mr Nobert Chukwumah, expressed delight over the opportunity given to the Company to partner with the NAF. Mr Chukwuma explained that the signing of the MoU would further strengthen the existing cooperation between the NAF and the private sector, which NMT is a part of, with a view to leveraging on the capabilities of both parties for the benefit of the country and the citizenry. He added that the Company possesses the required capability and employs modern equipment in carrying out all its functions, all of which had earned the organization international recognition. Mr Chukwumah equally lauded the drive of the NAF for self reliance and indicated that NMT was happy to become part of the NAF's increasing success story. In his response, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, reiterated the commitment of the Service to continually partner with MDAs so as to promote self-reliance in the NAF. According to him, the unrelenting efforts to reposition the Service into a more professional fighting force would be boosted by harnessing all locally available abilities and resources. The CAS further observed that there exists an abundance of talents and capabilities in Nigerian Universities and the private sector but the missing link has always been the seeming lack of willingness by government agencies to integrate those talents and capabilities. “The NAF was able to identify this challenge some years back and had consequently partnered many indigenous companies as well as signed MOUs with 15 Nigerian universities. These have resulted in huge gains for the Service, as it has enhanced the serviceability status of NAF platforms”, the CAS added. Air Marshal Abubakar further explained that some of the gains of partnership with the University of Maiduguri, for example, resulted in the reactivation of NAF Machine Workshops in Lagos and Markurdi, which had been abandoned for over 25 years. He added that the partnership had also led to the design and development of an Anti-Skid test bench for the Alpha Jet Aircraft, which is critical to the ongoing operations in the Northeast. Besides, similar partnerships with other local entities had resulted in the receipt of patent rights by the NAF for the production of hydraulic diaphragm for the Mi-35 helicopter gunship as well as for the production of Unmanned Ground Vehicles.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief of Standards and Evaluation, Air Vice Marshal Kingsley Lar, announced that the idea of the MoU was initiated after a team of visiting NAF officers discovered the capabilities and immense potentials of NMT. He also noted that strategic partnerships with MDAs is one of the key drivers of the CAS Vision of repositioning the NAF into a highly professional force capable of adequately employing air power to meet Nigeria's national security imperatives. It is worthy of note that similar partnerships by the NAF with academic institutions and private institutions in Nigeria have proved significant in the efforts at securing the nation. The CAS therefore directed appropriate senior NAF officers to immediately initiate steps at taking full advantage of the newly signed MoU with NMT.

The CAS, Air Marshal SB Abubakar chatting with the Managing Director NMT, Mr Robert Chukwuma during the signing ceremony of the MoU

The CAS presenting a copy of the MoU to the Managing Director NMT while the Chief of Standards and Evaluation, Air Vice Marshal KG Lar looks on





famous one-time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, following his experiences during the Second World War (Ww2), was compelled to say then, “Not to have an adequate air force in the present state of the world is to compromise the foundations of national freedom and independence”. That statement still holds true, as revealed in recent global developments and our own experience as a nation. It is, however, important to note that the operational effectiveness of any fighting force, particularly an air force, largely depends on the skill of its available manpower as well as the availability of required platforms and equipment. In the air force, the most critical platforms are usually fighter aircraft and other aircraft types, all of which require several ground support equipment for operation and maintenance. There are also other support equipment, which might not be directly related to aircraft, but are needed for an air force to function. Examples include communications, radar, armament and Information Technology equipment, amongst others. Another critical requirement for the sustenance of air operations is adequate and timely supply of aircraft spares. The summary of the foregoing is that the air force is a highly technologically dependent force. So, any air force that aspires to be operationally effective in today’s world, with the ever-changing environment, must be conscious of technological evolution and must always seek the means to keep abreast.


Without doubts, technological growth depends on the availability of a sound technological base, the requisite skilled manpower as well as adequate funds for research and development, amongst other factors. Nigeria cannot be referred to as one of the countries with a sound technological base, as attested to by many experts in technology. Although, it can arguably be said that Nigeria has a rich human resource base, many of whom possess varying skills, the sufficiency of funds for research towards technological growth remains a challenge, especially considering the nation’s current economic challenges and the competing needs from other sectors of the nation. One could then imagine how the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) would keep abreast with technological developments in order to meet its constitutional mandate of defending the territorial integrity of the nation and ensuring the security of all Nigerians. The current NAF leadership, under the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, is obviously very mindful of the foregoing scenario. Accordingly, a cardinal aspect of the policy thrust under Air Marshal Abubakar has been innovation through Research and Development, with focus on the aviation sector. This was evident in the key drivers of his vision for the NAF. The 2 pertinent key drivers are the establishment of ‘strategic partnerships with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for enhanced Research and Development’ and to ‘Reinforce a culture of self-reliance and prudent management of

Locally produced Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)

Locally produced Alpha Jet aircraft Anti-skid Test Bench

resources’. Since then, the NAF has taken significant steps aimed at deepening Research and Development in the NAF. The first of such steps is the establishment of the Air Force Research and Development Centre (AFRDC) in October 2015, towards pulling all its postgraduate degree holders in Aerospace Vehicle Design and related fields together to form the nucleus of NAF research activities, following which they were given the necessary mandates. The NAF also signed MoUs with selected universities, polytechnics and other research agencies, based on needs and identified capabilities. The NAF has, within the relatively short period, greatly benefited from the establishment of the AFRDC and the collaboration with Nigerian academic and research institutions who have constantly availed the NAF of the services of their skilled manpower. It was therefore not surprising that the NAF renewed the existing MoUs with 15 Nigerian tertiary institutions during its recent 54th Anniversary celebrations in Kaduna while it equally signed 5 additional MoUs with other similar institutions. The thinking of the current NAF leadership is to bridge the gap between the ‘gown’ and the ‘town’ by making good use of the abundant talent in academic institutions, to the advantage of the nation. In keeping with the modern trend in military aviation, the officers at the Air Force Institute of Technology Kaduna had since designed and locally manufactured an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Arising from the success of the NAF prototype UAV, named GULMA, the NAF went on to produce the first indigenous operational UAV, named TSAIGUMI. TSAIGUMI, which was designed and developed at AFRDC, Kaduna, for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions, has now been inducted into service. Similarly, the NAF designed and produced an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), the first prototype being known as UGV1, following the unfortunate loss of a police sergeant, who died in Kaduna while trying to handle an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The NAF subsequently

NAF prototype UAV

Locally produced Heat Shield protective cones

Locally produced Seals

received patent rights from the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) for the production of UGVs, after designing and manufacturing a more improved prototype known as UGV2. The UGV is used to replace a human being in hazardous situations such as handling of IEDs and bomb disposal while other military applications of the UGV includes surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition. The NAF had earlier received a patents right certificate for the production of the hydraulic accumulation diaphragm for the Mi35 helicopter gunship in September 2016. The hydraulic accumulation diaphragm is a very important component of the Mi-35 helicopter, which is one of the main combat platforms being employed in the Northeast. Aside from being very expensive, the diaphragm was scarce to source and yet, it requires frequent replacements to assure safe flying operations. In collaboration with some mechanical and rubber technologies outfits in Nigeria, the NAF’s research efforts have resulted in the production of a more durable and much less expensive one from that of the Original Equipment Manufacturer. The NAF was procuring 6 diaphragms from Ukraine at the cost of $106,000.00 USD but the one for which the NAF has received patents right costs N25,000.00 ($70.00 USD) only! Another benefit of the NAF’s increasing foray into research and development is the design and manufacturing of a test stand for the Alpha Jet aircraft anti-skid system. The anti-skid system is critical to the braking of the aircraft after landing, especially on wet runway surfaces. A major challenge in the NAF before now, with rectifying anti-skid related snags on the aircraft, was the lack of a test bench. Ideally, test benches are used to confirm the functionality of a system prior to installation on the aircraft. Towards resolving the anti-skid related challenge on the Alpha Jet aircraft, the NAF collaborated with some Nigerian academic institutions. Resource persons from these institutions alongside their NAF counterparts have been able to successfully design and


Locally produced Aviation Power Pack

Locally produced 30.1mm ground to air vehicle mounted rail rocket launcher

The Chief of Standards and Evaluation (COSE), AVM Kingsley Lar presenting a memento to the VC Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof Ogunbodede Eyitope during his visit to the institution

The COSE on a tour of facilities at the Nigerian Machine Tools, Oshogbo

produce test benches for the anti-skid system of both versions of the Alpha Jet aircraft on the NAF inventory.

Locally produced Brake Pads and Rivets for Alpha Jet Aircraft

Locally produced hydraulic diaphragm accumulator on display at the Technology and Innovation Expo 2018


One other recent feat achieved by the NAF in its Research and Development efforts is the successful manufacture of heat shield protective cone. The protective cone is used on fighter aircraft to reduce drag of rocket pods thus enabling the aircraft to achieve higher speeds. It also prevents rocket back blasts from affecting other rockets in the rocket pod when fired. On the average, 40 of these protective cones are consumed on a weekly basis in the on-going counterinsurgency operations in the Northeast. The protective cones were being imported at the rate of $1,250.00 USD for one, implying an expenditure of $50,000.00 USD on a weekly basis on the average. Through its Research and Development efforts, the NAF is now locally producing the same quality of protective cone for N9,000.00 ($25.00 USD) only thereby saving the NAF a minimum of $1,225.00 USD per item. Considering the average rate of weekly consumption, this translates into savings of $49,000.00 USD (about N17,640,000.00 every week, on the cones alone. Besides, the cones are now more easily available, as 20 units could be produced daily, thus enhancing NAF operational effectiveness.

The foregoing are just a few of the successful Research and Development projects of the NAF while there are other ongoing Research and Development projects, which would be unveiled in due course. It would be to the benefit of the nation if manufacturing companies started to explore the possibility of mass producing the products of NAF Research and Development efforts. One thing is certain; although we might not be there yet, the NAF is taking the right steps, and in the right direction, at innovating towards improved operational effectiveness. The interesting development is that at the heart of these novel steps are resource persons from Nigerian academic and research institutions, working in concert with NAF personnel. In the words of Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, “At the end of the madness in the North East, the names of our partners will be written in gold for their contribution in making the NAF to fly”. Although some might describe the steps being taken by the NAF, in Research and Development, as being small but they are sure and steady. With the continuing support of Mr President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, the NAF shall surely attain its objective of technological selfreliance, in concert with relevant MDAs as well as other local academic and research institutions.

Goodwill Message from






t is with great pleasure that I convey this goodwill message on behalf of the entire Military Pensions Board (MPB) community to felicitate with the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal SB Abubakar DFS GSS psc(+) fwc ndc(+) MSc, Officers, Airmen/Airwomen and Civilian Staff of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on the occasion of the 54th Anniversary of the Service. It is pertinent to note that since its establishment in 1964 by an Act of Parliament, the NAF has lived up to her Constitutional mandate of safeguarding the Nation's airspace against internal and external aggressions. In particular, the recent resuscitation of several operational platforms and the induction of new ones by the NAF are clear manifestations of its commitment to self-reliance and prudent management of resources. The resultant successes from this renewed commitment has continued to contribute to the sustained air raids in support of counter insurgency operations in the North East. It is also gratifying to note that the expansion of NAF Commands and active involvement in both internal and external security

operations portrays it as a dependable fighting force for the nation. This positive development is already contributing meaningfully in stabilising the security situation in the country. The 54th anniversary celebration therefore provides the NAF an opportunity to celebrate its successes and equally appreciate the enormous contributions of its gallant Officers and Men. The entire Officers, Men and Civilian Staff of Military Pensions Board are indeed proud to be associated with the NAF on this auspicious occasion of its 54th Anniversary celebrations. Our esteemed regards also go to the Chief of the Air Staff for providing the conducive environment for the Service to excel. As you march forward in your determination to enhance capacity and add value to the Armed Forces of Nigeria. I wish you greater success in your endeavours, Sir.





he President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, on 26 April 2018, commissioned the newly constructed 261 Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Reference Hospital in Bauchi. The establishment of the medical facility became necessary to specially provide additional medical support for members of the Armed Forces involved in counter insurgency operations in the Northeast. In his welcome address, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stated that the services of the hospital would also be extended to civilians, which had been the tradition in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF). He added that the hospital is part of the efforts of the current NAF leadership to reform the healthcare system of the Service and to support the on-going counter insurgency operations by ensuring the availability of immediate quality medical care to those injured in active service. Speaking further, the CAS stated that the NAF is using its medical facilities in its campaign of “Winning Hearts and Minds of the populace�, which has been a major component of its counter insurgency strategy in the Northeast. He acknowledged that the achievements would not have been possible without the support of President Buhari. He therefore expressed profound appreciation to the President for the support that the NAF, and indeed the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), had been enjoying under the current Federal Government Administration. He also specially thanked the President for putting the Service on a trajectory that is fast restoring its glory, noting that under his administration, 15 new aircraft had been inducted into service with another 4 set to be inducted before the end of 2018 while 12 hitherto grounded aircraft had been reactivated. The CAS then pledged that NAF personnel, under his leadership, would redouble efforts to ensure the security of Nigerians and uphold the present democratic ideals for the progress and prosperity of our fatherland. Air Marshal Abubakar equally thanked the Executive Governor of Bauchi State for allocating the huge parcel of land the NAF Base is today located. Additionally, he thanked members of the National Assembly, particularly the Senate and House Committees on Air Force for their support to the Service.

Frontview of the Newly commissioned Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital in Bauchi

In his remarks at the occasion, the Honourable Minister of Defence (HMOD), Mansur Dan Ali, said that the task of nation building and security could only President Muhammadu Buhari cutting the tape during the commissioning of Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital in Bauchi


radiology equipment (MRI Scanner) at the newly commissioned Hospital

be achieved if the safety of the citizens and territorial integrity of a nation are guaranteed. Hence, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Defence, would continue to invest in the provision of infrastructure for members of the AFN. He noted that the construction of the NAF Base and the hospital took the leadership of the NAF less than one year to accomplish. He therefore appreciated the President for empowering the NAF to achieve the feat and also congratulated the CAS for his purposeful leadership. The HMOD added that the state-of-the-art facilities in the hospital was a testimony of the Federal Government’s commitment to provide the best possible medical care to members of the AFN as a whole. He also commended the NAF for greatly contributing to the maintenance of security and the defence of democracy. While addressing the audience, President Buhari disclosed that the hospital is part of the growing commitment to enhance the welfare of troops in the theatre of operations. The President further stated that the counter insurgency efforts would be enhanced by the location of this medical facility because of its proximity to the theatres of operation. “The strategic goal is that more lives will be saved from operational injuries”, he explained. President Buhari also indicated that the new NAF hospital would reinforce the national trauma medical support for critical emergencies such as natural or man-made disasters. He then thanked and commended the NAF for initiating and completing this facility while urging it to ensure sustainability of maintenance and quality delivery of service to members of the AFN and the civil populace. The President also commended the NAF for reviewing its order of battle in response to current and emerging threats facing the country. He then noted that the NAF remained a key component of the Armed Forces in its constitutional role of providing aid to civil authorities across the country. After his address, the President undertook a tour of the hospital alongside other guests. The newly commissioned NAF Reference Hospital is a 60-bed hospital that consists of an Accident and Emergency Unit, Intensive Care Unit, Twin Theatres, Radio Diagnostic Unit as well as Renal Dialysis, Ophthalmic, Dental, Physiotherapy, Maternal and new born units in addition to a mortuary. It is also equipped with modern diagnostic and Life Support equipment intended to provide medical care to critically ill patients such as those wounded in combat. It is noteworthy that in the past 2 and half years, the NAF has embarked on a deliberate upgrade of its medical facilities through enhancement of existing infrastructure, provision of modern equipment, training of existing staff and recruitment of appropriate professionals to bridge the manpower deficiency in its healthcare facilities. All the 31 medical facilities of the NAF have benefited from this upgrade while the NAF Medical Centre in Port Harcourt was also recently reconstructed and upgraded to a reference hospital status.

President Muhammadu Buhari and other dignitaries being conducted round one of the units of the newly commissioned Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital in Bauchi


President Muhammadu Buhari inspecting medical equipment at the NAF Reference Hospital Bauchi

Some of the medical equipment at the NAF Reference Hospital Bauchi

Medical equipment at the NAF Reference Hospital Bauchi

The CAS, Air Mshl SB Abubakar delivering his welcome address

The CDS, Gen Abayomi Olonisakin and other dignitaries during the commissioning ceremony

President Muhammadu Buhari delivering his address at the commissioning ceremony

President Muhammadu Buhari in a group photograph with other dignitaries and staff of the NAF Reference Hospital shortly after the commissioning ceremony



The AOC-SOC, AVM Ismaila Kaita and Makama of Katagum, Alhaji Aliyu Hussani giving vaccines to children during the NAF Medical Outreach in Azare



he Nigerian Air Force (NAF) held a 5-day medical outreach for the people of Azare in Katagum Local Government Area of Bauchi State as part of the steps being taken by the current NAF leadership at improving access to healthcare delivery for host communities. The medical outreach, which was held at the Azare Township Stadium, attracted a large turnout of residents who were grateful to the NAF for its humanitarian gesture and improved civilmilitary relations efforts with the people of the community. During the medical outreach, which held from 24 to 28 January 2018, various medical conditions were diagnosed and treated while those with complex medical cases were transferred to the Federal Medical Centre, Azare for further medical attention. The ďŹ rst day of the medical outreach was attended by the Makama of Katagum, AlhajiAliyu Hussani who represented the Emir of Katagum, His Royal Highness Baba Umar Faruq. The Emir appreciated the laudable effort of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, in rendering humanitarian services through the provision of free healthcare to the people of Azare. The Emir also thanked the Air OfďŹ cer Commanding (AOC) Special Operations Command (SOC), Air Vice Marshal Ismaila Kaita for the medical outreach, which he noted, would bring great relief to his

Rep of Emir of Katagum, Alhaji Aliyu Hussani inspecting free eye glasses suppled by the NAF

Rep of Emir of Katagum distributing the free treated mosquito nets provided by the NAF


people. During the ďŹ rst day of the event, the medical team from NAF Headquarters and 261 NAF Reference Hospital, Bauchi conducted medical check-up on the patients and screened those who potentially h a d s u rg i c a l c a s e s . F u r t h e r m o r e , eyeglasses and drugs were distributed to patients. Other medical activities carried out were de-worming of little children as well as distribution of treated mosquito nets and drugs.

Cross section of elders in Azare Community awaiting their turn during the NAF Medical Outreach

NAF Pharmacists at the Medical Outreach in Azare

NAF Medics carrying out tests on patients during the Medical Outreach

Cross section of indigenes of Azare Community waiting to beneď€ t from the NAF Medical Outreach



IDPs in Rann arrives for the NAF Medical Oureach

IDPs in Rann set out for the NAF Medical Outreach

NAF Medics performing eye surgery for an IDP at the NAF Hospital in Maiduguri

IDPs admitted at the NAF Hospital in Maiduguri

NAF Medics checking vital signs during the Medical Outreach in Zurmi, Zamfara State

Free eye surgery at Zurmi, Zamfara State

NAF doctor attending to a patient during the Medical Outreach

Distribution of free treated mosquito nets during the Medical Outreach in Zurmi, Zamfara State




IDPs queue up for consultation during the NAF Medical Outreach in Damboa

NAF Surgeon performing surgical operation on an IDP in Maiduguri NAF Medics attending to IDPs in Damboa


Cross section of IDPs awaiting their turn to benet from NAF Medical Outreach in Damboa


n continuation with the series of efforts aimed at alleviating the plights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East and other parts of the country, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) held a 2-week medical outreach for IDPs in Maiduguri and Damboa Local Government Areas of Borno State between February and March 2018. With the theme, “Alleviating the Medical/Surgical Needs of IDPs in Maiduguri and Damboa”, the medical outreach also involved surgical interventions for those with complicated and critical health challenges. The leader of the NAF Medical Outreach Team, who is also the Director of Public Health and Humanitarian Services at Headquarters NAF, Group Captain Azubuike Chukwuka, said the outreach was at the instance of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar. It was organized specifically to assuage the sufferings of the IDPs as well as enhancing civil-military relations, as part of the 'winning the hearts and minds' strategy of the NAF.

NAF ophthalmologists conducting eye test for IDPs in Maiduguri

NAF Pharmacists dispensing free drugs to IDPs in Maiduguri during the Outreach

Distribution of free treated mosquito net to IDPs in Maiduguri

The NAF Medical Outreach Team conducted a total of 1,501 eye surgeries and 70 general surgeries on IDPs in Maiduguri and Damboa during the outreach. At Damboa alone, 32 eye surgeries and 10 general surgeries were conducted on IDPs, after screening 682 of them who had various eye-related ailments. In addition, the NAF Medical Outreach Team provided free medical treatment to 590 IDPs at Damboa. The beneficiaries were full of appreciation to the NAF for the humanitarian gesture and therefore thanked the CAS for the initiative, which had reportedly added much value to their lives. The beneficiaries also called on well-meaning Nigerians and organizations to emulate the NAF noting that the intervention could not have come at a better time than when most of the IDPs cannot afford the cost for such surgeries if left to foot the bills. It is significant to note that the NAF had carried out such free medical interventions in all geo-political zones of the country, with the most recent successfully conducted at Enugu, Bakassi and Makurdi.

IDPs with critical health challenges airlifted from Damboa to NAF hospital in Maiduguri for secondary healthcare intervention




INTRODUCTION The NAF Medical Service which was one of the earliest departments to be established since the inception of the NAF has evolved from its humble beginning with few doctors and nurses and 2 medical facilities to its present day status of being one of the 10 staff Branches in the NAF with a manpower of over 1,372 and 36 health care facilities among which are at least 6 tertiary care facilities. The Medical Services Branche has expanded gradually over the years due to the increase in the size of the NAF as well as NAF involvement in operations in various parts of the country and overseas. The NAF has 32 well established medical facilities comprising 6 Hospitals and 26 medical centres. Additionally, the NAF medical service has been contributing to the manning of the 2 UN Level II Hospitals at Mali and Dafur. However, these responsibilities of the medical service have not been adequately met with corresponding levels of manpower and appropriate equipment to enable the Branch meet the high expectations of personnel and the service in general. This situation was aggravated by the usual deep rooted attitudinal problems among some medical personnel which have negatively impacted on the perception of NAF personnel and their families towards the quality of care obtainable from NAF medical facilities.


This was the situation of the medical service at the time the present leadership of the NAF assumed office in July 15. Immediately after taking charge, the present leadership of the NAF led by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Mshl SB Abubakar embarked on reforms in the NAF which were aimed at “Repositioning the NAF into a highly professional and disciplined force through capacity building initiatives for effective, efficient and timely employment of air power in response to Nigeria's national security imperatives”. By their nature, the roles of NAF Medical Services are crucial for the attainment of the foregoing vision of the CAS. This fact is attested to by the commitment of the CAS towards reforming the medical service into a very functional medical service not only for the attainment of the NAF objectives as a service but also those of national health care system. The focused areas of reforms for the medical service include; service delivery, support for NAF operations, humanitarian services, manpower, training, policies, infrastructure upgrade and welfare. SERVICE DELIVERY The primary services routinely provided by the medical services to NAF personnel and their families include routine medical services, medical care beyond NHIS and aeromedical services.

a. Routine Medical Care The CAS has been a long standing advocate for high quality medical care not only for NAF personnel and their families but also for the general population of the country. His convictions for this could explain why he has paid keen attention to the health care delivery system in NAF medical facilities. This keen interest of the CAS has kept the whole of the Medical Services Branch on their toes and ensured that personnel and their families get the best services from our facilities. Therefore, it is not surprising that in the past 3 years, there has been over 164.6% increase in the number of patients attending our 36 medical facilities across the country. Apart from the increase in the number of personnel visiting NAF medical facilities, a remarkable increase in the number of civilians attending NAF medical facilities as depicted in the charts has also been recorded. b. Medical Care beyond NHIS. The CAS, Air Mshl SB Abubakar, strongly believes that NAF personnel and their families must receive the best medical care available in NAF medical facilities, or if need be anywhere in the world, notwithstanding the limitations imposed by the NHIS exemption on certain treatments. Throughout his tenure, the CAS has kept faith with this belief by magnanimously intervening in all cases where personnel or their families require care and treatment that are beyond what the NHIS could provide both locally and abroad. This saw to the evacuation of a large number of serving NAF personnel, their families as well as retired personnel to local and foreign Hospitals for treatment. c. Aeromedical Services. The provision of aeromedical services to NAF Aircrew has been improved and expanded with provision of medical equipment for 061 Aeromedical Centre Kaduna, 161 Nigerian Air Force Hospital (NAFH) Makurdi and 661 NAFH Ikeja. An Aviation Medicine Squadron was established at 063 NAFH Abuja and a new building and requisite equipment have been provided to the Unit for the conduct of aircrew medicals. A land mark achievement in the Aeromedical services is the accreditation of the Aviation medicine departments of 061 AMC and 661 NAFH by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to conduct medicals for Private Pilot license. The accreditation of NAF Aeromedical units by the NCAA further attest to the standards of service available in the units. MEDICAL SUPPORT TO NAF OPERATIONS Provision of medical support to all NAF operations is one of the primary mandates of the NAF Medical Service. Prior to 2015, the execution of this mandate has somewhat been largely limited to CASEVAC with no appropriate equipment, training and designated teams. These have limited the capacity of the NAF medical service to participate in MEDEVAC and search and rescue. However, this

situation was changed with the establishment of 2 NAF Aeromedical Evacuation Teams. For the first time in its history, the medical service had appropriately trained medical personnel with appropriate equipment to conduct MEDEVAC of injured troops from the battle frontlines. Since Jul 15, the NAF has maintained 2 Aeromedical Evacuation Teams, one each at Yola and Maiduguri. The Teams which operate with MI-17, Super Puma and Augusta 109 Helicopters have ensured timely treatment of injured personnel from the pickup point and in-flight as well as at drop off medical facilities. The 2 Aeromedical Teams are equipped with life support equipment to care for patients being evacuated. The activities of the Aeromedical Evacuation Teams have tremendously ensured timely evacuation and treatment of over 600 injured own ground troops in the last 2 and half years. This has reassured our troops of the NAF's capability to ensure prompt evacuation and treatment of our wounded troops. Additionally, the medical service has played a key role in the NAF's “winning of hearts and minds campaign” in the counter-insurgency war in the North East. The medical service has led this campaign through provision of medical care and coordination of other NAF humanitarian activities such as portable water, accommodation, sanitation, food and other essential needs of the IDPs. Hence in the last 3 years, 236,522 IDPs received medical care through NAF medical outreaches to IDP camps. Another 69,087 IDPs were treated at the 2 NAF Emergency Hospitals for IDPs located at Bama and Dalori IDP Camps as detailed at Annex C. Moreover, IDPs that need surgical interventions were operated during several NAF surgical outreaches conducted for the IDPs. Apart from the immediate succor provided to the IDPs, these outreaches have at the same time endeared the NAF and the Armed Forces of Nigeria in general to the IDPs and local communities as well as bridged the gap created within the national health system by the Boko Haram insurgency. On the strategic level, the activities have played a significant role in positively shaping the perception of the NAF among both local and international communities. HUMANITARIAN ACTIVITIES Another area envisioned for the medical service to play a role is the provision of humanitarian services to civil population most especially during civil disasters and also in peace time. The humanitarian services to civilians have served as vehicles for fostering cordial relationship between various NAF Bases and their host communities. In addition, the provision of humanitarian services to civilians has also provided the NAF an opportunity for directly supporting civil authorities in times of disaster. Between 2014 and 2017, the NAF medical services provided free medical care to over 495,439 civilians in various locations within the country. MANPOWER The establishment of new NAF medical units and the expansion of the existing ones in the face of limited personnel intake aggravated the already existing manpower shortage in the NAF medical services. This situation has greatly affected service delivery to patients. To address this challenge, the CAS immediately lifted the existing suspension of the DSSC enlistment and increased the quota for recruitment of airmen of medical specialties. This led to the enlistment of an unprecedented number of 161 DSSC officers of various medical trades including 9 consultants over the last 3 years. In addition, over 249 airmen of various medical trades were recruited over the past 3 years and the plan of the CAS is to continue with the increased intake of officers and men for the Medical Services Branch in order to bridge the existing deficiencies within the Service. CAPACITY BUILDING

A laboratory technician conducting a test in one of the NAF laboratories

A very famous philosophy and saying of CAS, Air Mshl SB Abubakar, is that “an employee cannot give what he does not have”.


If a person is not trained for a job, it will be wrong to expect him or her to do the job properly. Hence, in line with this philosophy, the CAS has embarked on massive training and retraining of NAF personnel including medical personnel. Within the last 3 years, 326 medical personnel were sent for various courses and seminars both locally and abroad. The effort has resulted in the improved quality of man power in the Service. Moreover, the CAS has established the NAF School of Medical Sciences and Aviation Medicine. The school was established to ensure a steady production of properly trained lower and middle level manpower for the medical service. At present preparations are ongoing for the take off of the school as already over 14 Nurses and 7 Preventive Health personnel have been released for Tutor training in order to produce the required staff for the school. POLICIES Major policy issues aimed at ensuring interactive engagement between NAF medical facilities and the Barrack Communities were brought in. Some of these include quarterly interactive meeting with stakeholders such as NAF personnel, and other stakeholders in the Barracks such as members of NAFOWA and AWA as well as NAF retirees registered with the NAF medical facilities under the Veterans Healthcare Programme. The interactive meeting provides a forum for the NAF personnel and their families to express their feelings and give a feedback on the services provided in medical facilities with a view to enhancing the services provided. This policy is in line with one of the established principle of Primary Health Care which has anchored community participation in matters concerning their health care. Other policies instituted include; the quarterly preventive lectures on selected topics aimed at enlightening the barrack community on medical problem of interest. The aim of these lectures is to sensitize the barrack community on specific medical conditions with a view to encouraging prompt detection, treatment and prevention thereby

preventing disease outbreaks in the NAF Bases. Other new policies include; the payment of appropriate MSS of the nurses who perform call duties instead of shift duties, introduction of induction lectures for the newly commissioned officers and airmen/airwomen of Medical Services Branch, establishing the Hospital Management Boards and quality assurance mechanisms for medical facilities to enhance their administration and service delivery. PROFESSIONALISM The CAS has been a keen advocate for attitudinal change among NAF medical personnel. This stemmed from his firm belief that “medical facilities should be places where patients with problems visit to get psychologically calmed and reassured even before the drugs and other modalities of treatment take effect in curing the primary disease affecting the patient”. Hence, health care workers must show compassion, patience, empathy and humility towards patients coming to seek services from the medical facility. The CAS consistently propagated and encouraged the Branch to work on the attitude of medical personnel and inculcate these qualities among them. One other attitude encouraged and propagated by the CAS through examples is the culture of prudence and accountability both in financial dealings and service delivery. His famous phrase of “adding value to wherever you work” has encouraged the Branch to demand that Comds and COs of medical facilities maintain and improve their facilities as far as possible without sitting down to wait for HQ NAF to do everything for them. Although attitudinal change could take a lot of time and efforts, there is clear evidence that substantial positive change is already being experienced amongst NAF medical personnel across the units. INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADE The upgrade of physical infrastructure and equipment of NAF medical facilities from 2015 till date has been unprecedented. The

Newly Commissioned NAF Reference Hospital Bauchi

Mordern Medical Equipment at the newly Commissioned NAF Reference Hospital Bauchi

MRI Scan at NAF Hospital Kaduna

NAF Reference Hospital Port Harcourt


Surgical equipment at NAF Reference Hospital Port Harcourt

Children wing of NAF Reference Hospital Port Harcourt

NAF Cancer Screening Center Makurdi

Equipment at Cancer Screening Center Makurdi

tenure of Air Mshl SB Abubakar as the CAS saw the establishment, construction and full equipping of the NAF Reference Hospital Bauchi, construction and equipping of NAF Medical Centre for AFCS Agbani, modification of the MDG-built Medical Centres at 117 ACTG Kainji, NAFIS Ipetu-Ijesha,105 CG Med Cen, 041 CD Med Cen Shasha with construction and equipping of X-ray, laboratory and officer's ward for the Medical Centres. The upgrade of Medical Centre in 115 SOG PH to a Reference Hospital with construction of appropriate buildings and provision of equipment, construction and equipping of Aviation Medicine Department for 063 NAFH Abuja were accomplished within the same period. New Cancer Screening Centres were constructed and equipped one each at 161 NAFH Makurdi, 261 NAFH Bauchi, 105 CG Medical Centre Maiduguri and 461 NAFH Kaduna while the one existing in Abuja was upgraded and provided with more modern facilities. Power houses were constructed and equipped with High Voltage UPS and AVRs for the Radio-diagnostic Departments of 461 NAFH Kaduna and 561 NAFH Ikeja. Over 7,800 line medical equipment ranging from glucometers to CT Scan Machines were procured for all the existing 33 NAF medical facilities according to their need and the level of care they are tasked to provide. The equipment include those for the newly established eye units at 063 NAFH Abuja, 163 NAFH Yola, 461 NAFH Kaduna and 465 NAFH Kano. These were upgraded and equipped with modern dental chairs and other equipment. Furthermore, the equipment upgrade has seen for the first time, the great enhancement of the laboratory services in virtually all NAF Hospitals and Medical Centres to the extent that all NAF Medical Centres are now capable of conducting at least chemistry and haematology investigations with modern automated equipment. Also, the HQ NAF Clinic has established and fully equipped an eye unit and laboratory. The programme on infrastructure and

equipment upgrade has greatly enhanced the capacity of NAF medical facilities to provide care to NAF personnel and their families as well as to effectively provide the requisite support for all NAF operations. WELFARE Another philosophy of CAS, Air Mshl SB Abubakar is that “a personnel who has reasonably been provided with his essential needs will do his job better without distraction”. In line with this philosophy, the CAS has spearheaded the efforts for the payment of the long overdue new MSS during his days as the COA. He later caped the efforts by approving the payment of call duty allowance instead of shifting allowance to peri-operative and anaesthetic nurses in the NAF. Moreover, the provision of befitting working environment and appropriate equipment in NAF medical facilities has significantly boosted the morale and confidence of various medical professionals in the Service. CONCLUSION On the whole, the present NAF leadership has brought in a new era of development and repositioning of the medical services that is unprecedented. The service has seen a huge development of physical infrastructure, equipment, manpower as well as reorientation of the medical service personnel towards professionalism, selflessness, and efficient service delivery for the benefit of the NAF. These achievements were capped by the upgrade of the former DMS to Medical Services Branch which has undoubtedly expanded the horizon for the future growth of the NAF medical service. Certainly, tremendous efforts have been made towards repositioning the medical service into a highly professional and responsive medical service capable of supporting the NAF for effective employment of air power in response to Nigeria's national security imperatives.





he role of the media as critical stakeholders in national development cannot be overemphasised. The media no doubt have become indispensable partners in nation building and occupy strategic position in promoting national integration and cohesion. The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) over the years has been actively involved in the fight against insurgency in the North East and other forms of internal security operations across the country. However, in spite of various successes the NAF has recorded, most of its operations and activities were sometimes underreported, distorted or completely omitted. This could be attributed to the fact that journalists especially those covering the Defence beat did not have the fundamental knowledge and requisite skills necessary in reporting some of the military, especially NAF activities. In this age of citizen journalism where almost everybody has now become a 'journalist' due to the availability of smart phones and internet facilities where any unverifiable information could be posted on the social media, the need for accurate and timely dissemination of information by the media to the public on NAF activities would go a long way in mitigating the unsavoury effects of fake news. It would be recalled that recently, some sections of the media reported that the NAF deployed 100 aircraft to the North East in search of the missing Dapchi girls. The information was no doubt ignorantly disseminated to the public due to inadequate technical knowledge of NAF operations. It is imperative to state that the number of sorties does not equate the number of aircraft deployed for military operations. As it is often said, a man cannot give what he does not have, so also will a Defence Correspondent with inadequate knowledge of military not be able to analyse critically NAF operations. To avoid further misconception and misrepresentation of NAF activities to the public, the Directorate of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI) as part of its 2018 schedule of events organised a one-day enlightenment workshop on air power for Defence Correspondents in Abuja. The Workshop which was

Cross section of Ofcers at the Air Power Enlightenment Workshop for Defence Correspondent


held on 8 March 2018 witnessed a large turnout of journalists from different media organizations covering the Defence beat. The workshop was aimed at better equipping Defence Correspondents with requisite skills and updated knowledge on the application of air power. The enlightenment workshop was also intended to acquaint Defence Correspondents with various air power terminologies in a bid to enhance professionalism in the reportage of NAF events thereby projecting the NAF in a more accurate and balanced manner. While declaring the workshop open, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Chief of Administration, Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Yahaya, stated that information management in contemporary times is critical to national development. He added that the way information is processed could affect national security either positively or negatively. “Therefore, a Defence Correspondent must understand the terminologies associated with his beat to enable him report events professionally”, he stated. The CAS enjoined Defence Correspondents to make good use of the opportunity offered by the Workshop to acquire pertinent knowledge about the NAF. According to him, there is a growing need for journalists to understand the nuances and technicalities involved in air operations as the nation strives to maintain peace in the country. In his welcome address at the workshop, the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, commended the media for their dedication in covering and reporting military activities. He pointed out that the workshop could not have come at a more appropriate time than now, as public expectation of accurate and timely dissemination of information on NAF operations across the country is on the increase. According to him, the nature of warfare has assumed a new dimension and therefore, accurate reportage of NAF air operations would prevent avoidable controversies. He then expressed his appreciation to the CAS for his strategic guidance, which led to the conduct of the workshop.

Cross section of participants at the Air Power Enlightenment Workshop

During the one-day workshop, resource persons, all of who are specialists from the NAF, presented 5 papers. The topics of the papers were 'NAF Hierarchy and Rank Structure', 'Characteristics and Limitations of Air Power' as well as 'Aircraft types in the NAF Inventory and Roles'. The 2 other papers were 'Armaments on NAF Aircraft' and 'Military-Media Relations'. While speaking on 'Military-Media Relations', Air Vice Marshal Adesanya charged the media to be even more professional in their reportage while also remaining conscious of the need to uphold integrity. The DOPRI stated that the media are veritable partners in national development and as such, “patriotism should override sensationalism and commercialism in the course of practising journalism”, he added.

Participating Defence Correspondents expressed their delight at the opportunity to attend the Workshop, which they described as being “quite informative and eye-opening”. They therefore commended the NAF leadership for deploying resources to add value to their capacity to undertake their assignments as Defence Correspondents thereby engendering professionalism. At the end of the Workshop, certificates of participation were presented to the nearly 60 Defence Correspondents, who attended the Workshop.

Speaking further, the DOPRI said the media should always work together with the military, especially now that the nation is experiencing various security challenges. “The responsibility of fighting security challenges in the country should not be left in the hands of the military only, the media could also help through the quality and contents of their reportage”, he said. In addition, the DOPRI said that journalists should not allow themselves to be unwittingly used as tools in the hands of insurgents to propagate fear and terror. Rather, journalists should be more conscious of their onerous responsibility as critical stakeholders in the fight against insurgency and terrorism. Cross section of participants at the Air Power Enlightenment Workshop

The Representative of CAS, AVM Ibrahim Yahaya delivering his address

The DOPRI, AVM Olatokunbo Adesanya delivering his welcome address

Gp Capt Ernest Bassey, one of the recourse persons during the enlightenment workshop

Resource person, Wg Cdr Danjuma Bazo presenting a paper during the workshop

The DOPRI and Resource Persons in a group photograph with participants at the Defence Correspondent Workshop



The Chancellor and proprietor of the Afe Babalola University Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola SAN, welcoming the guest speaker AVM OA Adesanya



he Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has advocated for increased security consciousness amongst Nigerian youths as a way of engendering a flawless Nigerian society. The Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI) Headquarters NAF, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Olatokunbo Adesanya, reiterated this advocacy recently while delivering a lecture at Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) as part of programmes to mark the University's 2018 Law Week. The theme of the Law Week was 'Law and Security: Fostering a Flawless Society'. According to AVM Adesanya, the relationship between law and order is direct and interwoven and one cannot be separated from the other in an effort to have a near flawless society. He maintained that it might be impossible to attain a totally flawless society because respective human beings have individual choices to do either what is wrong or right. Nevertheless, the citizenry must make every effort towards having a flawless society. Speaking further during his lecture titled, 'Role of Security Agencies in Engendering a Flawless Society: the Nigerian Air Force in Perspective', AVM Adesanya stated that it is only in a near flawless society that there could be true prosperity in a peaceful and orderly environment. He further averred that it is only by operating within the ambient of existing statutes that security agencies could contribute to the engendering of a flawless society. Accordingly, the law and the security should be seen as two sides of the same coin if we must aspire to become a flawless society. He added that although the journey towards becoming a flawless society is collective, it begins with individual choices to be orderly and to encourage others to be orderly. The NAF Spokesman then encouraged the Law


The Provost, College of Law, ABUAD, Prof Samaranda Olarinde welcoming the DOPRI to the Faculty of Law during the 2018 Law Week

Cross section of students of the Faculty of Law listening to the guest speaker AVM OA Adesanya while delivering his paper in the University auditorium to mark the 2018 Law Week

undergraduates, who would chart the future of law in Nigeria in the coming years, according to him, to be very mindful of their individual and collective responsibilities towards fostering a flawless Nigerian society. He also urged them to be more security conscious while being mindful that they would work side by side with security agencies and not on opposite sides. The DOPRI used the opportunity to reel out the several humanitarian intervention programmes, which the NAF had embarked upon in the last 3 years in different parts of the country. He revealed that the humanitarian programmes were part of NAF's contributions towards engendering a flawless society. AVM Adesanya revealed that NAF's recent humanitarian intervention schemes include the free treatment given to nearly 300,000 Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the country, including free surgical operations, free cancer screening and treatment, in addition to provision of free eyeglasses. The revelation elicited a resounding round of applause from the staff and students of the institution, who were obviously unaware of the extent to which the NAF had gone in providing succour to IDPs. The NAF's decision to accept to deliver the lecture is part of its efforts at mentoring the youths, as future leaders, towards laying a solid foundation for a more secured Nigerian society in the nearest future. The NAF has indeed established strong links with members of the academia in the past few years with the belief that the absence of such linkages, in the past, had hindered national development.




indful of the strategic importance of the social media platforms in the dissemination of information to the public in real time, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Directorate of Public Relations and Information recently organized a Tweetchat. The Tweetchat which was the first in the history of the NAF, proved to be highly successful and far reaching as it attracted participation from Europe and other parts of the world. The Tweetchat which lasted for 2 hours, was facilitated by a reputable organization and it was aimed at promoting, online, the laudable achievements of the NAF. It was also intended to provide a platform for the general populace to ask questions relating to NAF operations and activities as a way of further improving on the NAF Public Relations rating. During the 2 hours programme, the Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya was able to answer about 50 questions bothering on NAF operations and activities. The hashtag, #AskTheAirForce was used for the Tweetchat, details of which could still be found by searching for the hashtag. The Tweetchat was the most discussed issue on Twitter in the whole of Lagos, Abuja and Nigeria as a whole for over one hour during the period while most of the reactions were positive. The discussion during the Tweetchat reached over 123,447 Twitter accounts and over 291,876 persons saw the various tweets during the period. There were other questions which could not be answered during the Tweetchat due to time constraint. However, the DOPRI was able to subsequently respond to other questions even after the Tweetchat. Sequel to the DOPRI's Tweetchat, the followerships on the Twitter accounts of the NAF, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and the DOPRI increased significantly by a minimum of 300 accounts which had since continued to increase on a daily basis.

Apart from the issue of insurgency and terrorism, other issues discussed during the Tweetchat included acquisition of platforms, weaponry, NAF mission in ECOMOG, personnel welfare, humanitarian services in the North East, the Rann accidental air strike and other questions on internal security operations. It would be recalled that the current NAF leadership led by Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, in the last two years had made deliberate efforts at ensuring timely and accurate dissemination of information on NAF operations and activities to the public. Only, recently, the NAF organized a one-day enlightenment workshop on air power for Defence Correspondents in Abuja. It was aimed at better equipping Defence Correspondents with requisite skills and updated knowledge on the application of air power and also to acquaint them with various air power terminology in a bid to enhance professionalism in the reportage of NAF events.

The DOPRI, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya anked by Principal Staff Ofcers of the Directorate and a Social Media Consultant during the tweet chat session

The DOPRI, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya responding to questions during the tweet chat session




INTRODUCTION Since the end of the Cold War in 1989, the majority of armed conflicts around the world have been internal in nature, and linked to socio-economic issues, control of political power, control of location of natural resources, ethnic/tribal sentiments as well as religious extremism. This turn of events, the world over, has seen an upsurge in armed conflicts orchestrated mostly by non-state actors. The situation in Africa is not much different, as a large part of the ongoing conflicts are intrastate in nature, as civil wars or internal unrests remain the dominant forms of security challenges on the continent. While the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) is principally tasked to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria from external aggression, our Country and indeed the rest of the world is faced with different forms of security challenges which were hitherto not envisioned by our founding fathers. The theme of the 2018 Military Flight Training Conference, 'Ensuring the operational readiness of aircrew for current and future operating environments', could therefore not have come at a better time. The primary responsibility of the Nigerian Air Force as captured in Nigeria's National Defence Policy is to 'defend the Nation and protect its vital economic interests by air'. The topic of this paper is 'The Nigerian Air Force in Contemporary Warfare: The Chief of The Air Staff's Vision for Future Engagements'. The paper will cover the following areas: SCOPE a. Brief History of the NAF. b. NAF Training and Operations. c. Acquisition of Platforms to Enhance Training and Operations. d. My Vision for NAF Future Engagements.


The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar presenting a paper at the Annual Military Flight Training Conference in London

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NAF The NAF was established by an Act of Parliament in April 1964 to, among others, ensure a fast versatile mobility of the Armed Forces as well as achieve a full complement of the military defence system of the Federal Republic of Nigeria both in the air and on the ground. To set-up a highly technical Service to meet these objectives, it was necessary to seek foreign assistance. Hence, the German Air Force was contracted to establish, equip and run the NAF, with a view to eventually handing over to Nigerians. However,

The NAF, despite its relative inexperience, has performed creditably not only by dealing with the challenges posed by the Civil War and ensuring the unity of the country but has also projected airpower outside its borders in support of our friends in Liberia and Sierra Leone under Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) and recently under Economic Community of West African States Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG).

from hills to mountains with the highest being the Gwoza Hill which is 1300m amsl. A prominent area of interest in this region is the Sambisa forest, where BHT had their strongholds. This area covers a landmass of about 60,000 sq km. In terms of weather, the NE has 2 seasons namely the wet season, which commences from July and ends in September and dry season, which starts from October to early June. During the dry season, thick dust haze covers the region from late October to the end of March. Visibility drops to less than 200m and this impacts negatively on air operations. Notwithstanding, the NAF has flown a total of 7,506 hours 20 minutes in support of surface forces in the last one year. The roles in which the NAF currently employs air power include Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), Close Air Support, Air Interdiction, Air Transportation and Medical Evacuation/Casualty Evacuation (MEDEVAC/CASEVAC).




The NAF has critically reviewed its training curriculum and has tailored it in line with our current challenges in order to sustain ongoing operations. Training is now based on needs and threat analysis, and is tailored to deal with present realities. The NAF between 2016 to date has trained 66 pilots in our local training schools while 35 pilots have been trained in foreign flying institutions. Within the same period, 26 instructor pilots were also trained overseas and 13 in NAF Flying Schools while 266 pilots went for different simulator and pilot upgrade courses outside the country. Similarly, simulators have been introduced in our flying training packages to reduce cost and enhance the quality of training.

the contract was prematurely terminated in 1966, following the political crisis and the ensuing Nigerian Civil War. Thus, the young inexperienced NAF had to contend with the enormous task of fulfilling its assigned role of defending the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by air. In order to meet up with this task, ground attack and medium transport aircraft were hurriedly introduced into the Service.

The NAF is currently involved in several operations in different parts of the country. These include Operations LAFIYA DOLE in the North East (NE), SAFE HAVEN in the North Central (NC), and DELTA SAFE in the South South (SS). However, the paper will be restricted to Operation LAFIYA DOLE in NE. Today, Nigeria is facing the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT), an extremist group with a distorted understanding of Islamic ideology. Prior to 2015, Boko Haram was virtually operating all over the country particularly in the North Eastern States where it had several local governments under its control. The States of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in the NE, where BHT activities are prevalent cover an area of about 157,000 sq km. The area has several landmarks ranging

In ongoing military operations in Nigeria, besides human intelligence, the ISR platforms of the NAF provide the

NAF Super Mushshak aircraft

Student pilots in a ight simulator

NAF ofcers and their counterpart during a foreign course

The CAS decorating an Instructor pilot with his new pilot badge

NAF Alpha Jet pilot ready for a mission


preponderance of intelligence for all Internal Security Operations. Notwithstanding the availability of credible information, there is the need to develop local capacity to process gathered information into actionable intelligence. In order to achieve this, the NAF has trained 40 personnel between 2016 - 2017 on Imagery Interpretation and Analysis while 50 personnel have concluded related intelligence analysis courses locally. We are also in close liaison with our friendly partners to explore possibilities of boosting capacity in this field. Force projection alone is insufficient to guarantee the deterrent posture envisaged by the NAF. The loss of some air assets during the BHT attack on the NAF Base in Maiduguri impacted negatively on the tempo of air operations, and made obvious the need to enhance our force protection capability. Against this backdrop, the NAF has over the past 2 years, placed premium on training of specialized forces to protect our critical and vital assets including bases.

Another acquisition that the NAF has made recently is in the area of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). One of such, the CH-3A UAV has positively impacted on our ISR capability in addition to precision strikes. To support the UAV initiative in the NAF, our Research and Development (R & D) efforts have yielded the desired result by locally producing a UAV called TSAIGUMI, which was designed and produced by Nigerians in collaboration with partners in Portugal. The R & D efforts would be sustained not only to conserve foreign exchange but also to enhance our operational effectiveness.

The NAF has in the same vein realized the need to develop the capacity to conduct operations deep into the adversary's lines especially in terms of combat search and rescue. To this end, the NAF has trained a substantial number of Special Forces with the assistance of the British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT), the US, China, Pakistan, Israel and the Nigerian Army. We are also making progress in boosting our combat search and rescue capability. Another significant avenue utilized by the NAF to enhance the professionalism of our aircrew is through joint and combined exercises like the African Partnership Flight Exercise aimed at improving the integration of allied air forces within the African Sub-Region. Such exercises in which the NAF played a key role are assessed as successful. ACQUISITION OF PLATFORMS FOR ENHANCED TRAINING AND OPERATIONS In the area of acquisition of platforms to ensure cost effective training, the NAF is compelled to critically carry out cost benefit analysis before any choice of platform is made. Equipping and sustaining a balanced air force has therefore been one of the greatest challenges facing the NAF today. To achieve our training targets therefore, the Federal Government had to procure some trainer aircraft in order to boost in-house training capacity. One of the major acquisitions made under the current NAF leadership is the procurement of the recently inducted Super Mushshak aircraft from Pakistan in 2016. The acquisition of this platform has potentially revived the standard of primary flying training. Currently, the NAF is on the verge of acquiring the A-29 Super Tucano Light Attack aircraft. The advanced technological features that are inherent in the Super Tucano would expose our combat aircrew to Twenty First Century technology. Such aircraft types, which possess precision targeting capability, are required in order to counter the adversaries' asymmetric nature with a view to reducing collateral damage. Newly acquired Mi-35M helicopter gunship


Furthermore, acquisition of high-tech platforms like the Super Tucano, which is highly computerized, would enable us incorporate computer-based training into our training curricula. Simulator training on the Super Tucano is also expected to be more readily accessible than those of the L-39ZA and Alpha Jet aircraft, which are the jet trainer aircraft in our current inventory. Hence, the NAF would take advantage of all the benefits associated with the Super Tucano to cut-down on our training costs as simulator and computer based systems are, undoubtedly, more costeffective than training on the real aircraft.

CAS VISION FOR FUTURE NAF ENGAGEMENTS The NAF has so far committed a lot of efforts in bringing its personnel to a better state of readiness to cope with emerging security challenges facing our nation. This is evident in some of the success stories recorded by the NAF, prominent amongst which is the recovery of lost territories from the BHT. This was made possible after defeating their will and capabilities through independent air operations and regular interdiction missions against their training camps, logistics bases as well as command and control centres. Nonetheless, these efforts are still inadequate as the terrorists still strike soft targets. Hence, the vision for future engagements is to have an air force that would deny the adversary the ability to engage any target to the barest minimum. My vision for the future therefore, is an extension of the present vision of repositioning the NAF for effective, efficient and timely employment of air power in response to Nigeria's national security imperatives. To actualize the vision for future engagements therefore, we must be able to anticipate likely future tasks by critically analyzing the trend of events in the contemporary security environment. The complexity of the emerging security challenges indicate the possibility of potential adversaries being equipped with sophisticated forms of weapon systems and the means to deliver them. Hence, we should be able to consistently review operational and training strategies to adequately equip our aircrew with the skills and equipment required to deal with these challenges. There are some key areas that need urgent attention in order to adequately prepare the NAF for our likely future engagements. These areas include training of pilots and instructor pilots, acquisition of precision strike and night capable platforms, advancement in our ISR capability and acquisition of flight training simulators. TRAINING OF PILOTS Insurgency and terrorism, which were alien to our society, have come to stay and may not end in the nearest future. Our current fight against insurgency in the NE part of the country has necessitated the deployment of many of our aircrew for combat missions. Therefore, the NAF will need to produce the required manpower to sustain our operational capability until the menace of insurgency and terrorism is contained. My vision is for the NAF to sustain the training of more pilots by making efforts to graduate at least 31 pilots annually from 2018 – 2022. TRAINING OF INSTRUCTOR PILOTS Although the NAF is currently training instructors in countries like Jordan and the USA, there are still deficiencies in this area. To address this challenge, a central flying school has recently been established to harmonize the training of our instructor pilots. However, a key challenge facing the CFS is the shortage of IPs to effectively man the School. This is because most of the IPs who are required to instruct in the School are also needed to


Battle Damage Assessment of air strikes on insurgents’ location

fly in various theaters of operations. The NAF in future engagements therefore, must have adequate number of IPs that would be dedicated to training our pilots while having sufficient pilots to deploy for operations simultaneously. ACQUISITION OF PRECISION STRIKE AND NIGHT CAPABLE PLATFORMS

our airspace. This would require appropriate training of our ISR specialists to develop their capabilities. ACQUISITION OF FLIGHT TRAINING SIMULATORS

Precision strike and targeting is a capability sought by modern air forces in warfare and the NAF is not an exception. The NAF precision strike capability is currently limited to its UAVs which have been extensively utilized in Operation LAFIYA DOLE, the Combined Operation being conducted against the BHTs. Although the acquisition of Super Tucano by the NAF would enhance our capability for precision strike, my vision for the future is to develop precision strike and night capabilities for all our ground attack platforms. Hence, we would ensure that any new offensive platform inducted into the Service meets the minimum criteria of precision strike and night capability.

The NAF has some flying training schools that cater for the various stages of flying training packages ranging from abinitio through basic to advanced training. However, lack of adequate functional simulation facility makes it difficult to conduct type-rating and re-currency for most of our platforms as there is no serviceable full motion simulation device in the NAF. Hence, we rely solely on foreign facilities for our simulator training requirements. Unfortunately, overseas training is very expensive. My vision for the NAF of the future is to acquire some of these training facilities with a view to increasing the professionalism of our aircrew to meet the contemporary security imperatives at a reduced cost while earning some foreign exchange by providing same training for our immediate neighbors.



The relevance of ISR to military operations was hitherto very limited in the NAF. However, the national threat scenario has become more complex, with multiple challenges that are more insidious in nature and occurring simultaneously on multiple fronts. Evidently, this trend is set to continue for a while, and ISR remains one of the core capabilities needed by the NAF to meet our national defence and security imperatives. We must therefore dynamically evolve our ISR capability to defeat current threats and prepare for contingencies.

Nigeria's internal socio-economic challenges have posed more danger to her corporate existence than any known external threat. Hence, we must prepare adequately for future eventualities, as the contemporary security environment remains very fluid in nature. Fulfilling the demand of these diverse operational situations requires the NAF to develop capacity through training.

My vision is for the NAF to utilize more of spaced based resources in the future for our ISR efforts. Geospatial Intelligence Systems for integrated data processing shall be incorporated into our ISR capability. Such systems would facilitate our search for abductors and other criminal elements involved in any crime committed under


At this juncture, I would like to conclude by reiterating that since some of the emerging security challenges would require joint and multinational efforts to combat, the NAF has continued to extend her hands of friendship to any nation that indicates interest in the mutual relationship. We also believe that remaining united in our resolve would immensely assist us to overcome our common security challenges and secure our global environment.




he Nigerian Air Force (NAF), as part of its commitment to reposition the NAF into a highly professional force for effective service delivery, today, 25 May 2018, commissioned the Headquarters Complex and residential quarters for the Commandant, officers and airmen/airwomen of the NAF Institute of Safety (NAFIS) in Rigachikun Area of Kaduna. Also commissioned today were 2 x blocks of students’ hostels, 11 boreholes, a water station integrated with 300,000 litres ground tank and 100,000 litres overhead tank, auxiliary 6 x 3,000 litres reservoirs, 1.1 km asphalted road and over 2.2km drainage system. NAFIS was established to provide safety training and education to NAF personnel and students of other nationalities and international aviation organizations. With today’s commissioning, NAFIS now has a befitting permanent location and is set to properly focus on the conduct of a more comprehensive and inclusive safety training for NAF personnel, sister Services, other security Services, ministries, departments and agencies of the 3 tiers of government as well as nongovernmental organizations, within and outside Nigeria.

The Guest of Honour, Air Vice Marshal Audu Bida (rtd) cutting the tape to commission the newly constructed Nigerian Air Force Institute of Safety (NAFIS) complex

Institute's Audirorium

Institute's Library

Students of Occupational Health and Safety Course during lecture session

Ofcers Qurters

Students Qurters

Air Mshl SB Abubakar Street



A newly commissioned block of 30 x 1 bedroom residential accommodation for NCOs in Benin




he Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 28 December 2017, commissioned additional block of 30 x 1 residential accommodation for airmen and airwomen serving at the 107 Air Maritime Group (AMG), NAF Base Benin. The building, which was commissioned by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, is in furtherance of his determination to eliminate the challenge of accommodation insufficiency in the NAF. The newly commissioned studio apartment is designed to accommodate 30 airmen and airwomen, in addition to the 2 blocks of 120 studio apartments that were recently commissioned in the Unit. During the commissioning ceremony, the CAS, who was represented by the then Chief of Administration at NAF Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Mahmoud Ahmed, said that the serial provision of accommodation facilities across NAF Bases was an eloquent testimony of the current leadership's commitment to the welfare of personnel while also focusing on the development of their capacity. The project, he said, would not only alleviate accommodation shortage for NAF personnel serving in Benin area but also significantly reduce the financial burden of rents faced by the NAF in housing its personnel. While congratulating those personnel that would benefit from the new accommodation, the CAS charged them to ensure proper use and adequate maintenance of the facility adding that the Service and indeed the nation in return would continue to expect and truly does not deserve anything less than absolute loyalty and the best from them.

appreciation to the CAS for taking measures to address the accommodation challenges in the Unit. The Commander revealed that the Unit now can comfortably accommodate all its airmen and airwomen, with spare accommodation for those that would be posted into the Unit later. Highlight of the occasion was the presentation of keys to some beneficiaries of the new accommodation by the representative of the CAS. It is pertinent to state that aside from its maritime patrol roles, 107 AMG is one of the NAF frontline units that is directly involved in the ongoing counterinsurgency operation in the Northeast, conducting Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, medical evacuation as well as airlift of troops and logistics resupply.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Commander of 107 AMG, Air Commodore Olarewaju Shobande, expressed his deep AVM Mahmoud Ahmed presenting keys to one of the beneciaries of the new accommodation





he Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has honoured late Aircraftman Jamilu Lawal, in appreciation of his sacrifice in the fight against insurgency in Nigeria, by naming the newly constructed block of 30 units of one-bedroom self-contained apartments after him. The late airman, who paid the supreme price while serving in Operation ZAMAN LAFIYA in Northeastern Nigeria, was recognized for placing the interest of the nation above personal interest. The residential accommodation, which is meant for the Junior NonCommissioned Officers (NCOs) serving in Minna, was commissioned on Friday, 15 December 2017. This is in continuation of efforts by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to ensure that all personnel of the NAF and their families are adequately accommodated. The CAS, who was represented at the commissioning ceremony by the former Chief of Administration at NAF Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Lawal Alao, stated that the current NAF leadership places a high premium on personnel welfare. Accordingly, everything possible is being done to make them comfortable, considering the enormous sacrifices they make on a daily basis. He then urged the beneficiaries to take adequate care of the new facilities. He added that the Federal Government was very mindful of the sacrifices being made by military personnel and hence, its commitment to their welfare through the provision of adequate resources to execute the various welfare projects. He encouraged the personnel to continue to be loyal, dedicated and professional in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.

The Jamilu Block is one in the series of residential accommodation blocks and other projects commissioned at 351 Base Services Group, Minna under the current NAF Administration to enhance personnel welfare. It would be recalled that the NAF, on 26 September 2017, commissioned a one residential block of 10 flats for NCOs in Minna and named it after late Flight Sergeant Hassan TM, who also paid the supreme price during the ongoing war against insurgency. Other projects recently commissioned at the NAF Base Minna include an office complex, an 18 x 2 Senior NCOs' accommodation and other types of residential accommodations. Besides, as part of efforts by the current NAF leadership to have accommodation sufficiency and improve the welfare of personnel for effective a n d e ffi c i e n t s e r v i c e d e l i v e r y, s e v e r a l r e s i d e n t i a l accommodations had been built in different parts of the country. A notable feature in the NAF, in the current dispensation, is the focus on the immortalization of NAF personnel who paid the supreme sacrifice in the course of service to the nation.

The rep of the CAS, AVM Lawal Alao commissioning the new airmen/airwomen accommodation in the NAF Base, Minna

The newly constructed block of 30 units of one bedroom residential accommodation for junior non-commissioned ofcer at the NAF Base, Minna





he Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on 10 January 2018, completed an operational visit to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) 305 Special Mobility Group (SMG) Calabar, Cross River State. The visit was essentially to inspect operational facilities, identify challenges and commission newly completed projects. Accordingly, the CAS commissioned 3 blocks of newly built 6 x one bedroom transit accommodation for airmen/airwomen serving at the NAF Base in Calabar. The commissioning of the buildings is in furtherance of the current NAF leadership's determination to eliminate the challenge of insufficient accommodation as well as provide befitting housing for NAF personnel. In his remarks at the commissioning ceremony, the CAS noted that the insufficiency of personnel accommodation within the barracks had affected NAF operations. According to him, “the provision of accommodation for personnel in dispersed locations has had negative implications on regimentation, security and the ability to rapidly deploy personnel at short notice”. It therefore became imperative for the current NAF leadership to address the NAF's lingering accommodation deficit to improve personnel welfare with a view to enhancing operational effectiveness. He gladly announced that 73 per cent of NAF personnel were then accommodated in the barracks. While commissioning the accommodation, one time CAS, retired Air Marshal Nsikak Eduok said that he had been

A unit of the newly commissioned 6x1 bedroom transit accommodation in Calabar


observing the highly commendable efforts of Air Marshal Abubakar in providing accommodation for personnel at NAF Bases all over the country. He therefore advised him to sustain the excellent performance in order to fully address accommodation challenge on NAF Bases. Air Marshal Eduok also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the provision of resources to cater for the welfare of personnel while praising the CAS for judiciously utilizing appropriated funds. He then enjoined all NAF personnel to reciprocate Mr President's kind gesture by continuing to do well in the onerous task of defending the nation's territorial integrity. The State Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, represented the Executive Governor of Cross Rivers State, Senator Professor Ben Ayade, at the commissioning ceremony. The Governor commended the highly professional manner the personnel of the NAF deployed to the State had been conducting themselves. He then reiterated the readiness of the State Government to continue to support the Unit in every possible way. Earlier in the day, the CAS had paid a courtesy call on Governor Ben Ayade, whom he thanked for the support the NAF was enjoying from the State. He then stated the purpose of his visit to Calabar, adding that he was also going to commission accommodation for NAF personnel serving at 305 SMG Calabar. Air Marshal Abubakar restated his belief that the human being is the most important asset in every organization and hence, his

The former Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Nsikak Eduok (retired) unveiling the plaque to commissioned the newly built airmen/airwomen transit accommodation at 305 SMG Calabar

reason for making welfare a priority, aside from air operations and aircraft reactivation efforts. In his response, Governor Ayade noted with delight that much of the success in the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the Northeast was attributable to the constant air strikes by the NAF. Moreover, he stated his belief that the turnaround that was being witnessed in the fortunes of the NAF was a reflection of the sterling leadership qualities of Air Marshal Abubakar. According to the Governor,

the NAF of today had become more responsive, better equipped and smarter. Considering the peculiarities of Cross River State, the Governor then requested for the deployment of a helicopter to the NAF Base in Calabar towards enhancing security in the State. In response, the CAS highlighted the efforts of the Federal Government at reactivating aircraft to further increase aircraft serviceability in the NAF.

The former Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Nsikak Eduok (rtd) in a chat with a royal father at the event

The CAS, Air Marshal SB Abubakar a handshake with AVM EE Osim (rtd)

The Executive Governor of Cross Rivers State, Prof Ben Ayade making remarks during CAS courtesy visit to Government House in Calabar

The CAS, Air Marshal SB Abubakar, presenting mementos to the Executive Governor of Cross Rivers State, Prof Ben Ayade

NAF COMMISSIONS NEW RESIDENTIAL ACCOMMODATION IN PORT-HARCOURT NAMED AFTER A NAF PILOT FOR ACT OF GALLANTRY The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar recently commissioned a well-furnished 6 x 2-room officers' accommodation, as part of concerted efforts to address the accommodation needs of NAF personnel in general, and those serving at 115 Special Operations Group Port Harcourt in particular. The new residential block was named after Wing Commander Muhammad Umar, a NAF combat helicopter pilot, for his sterling and outstanding act of gallantry in the face of adversaries in the North East counterinsurgency operations.

Recently commissioned 6 x 2-room ofcers' accommodation named after Wg Cdr Muhammad Umar





he Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 5 December 2017, commissioned a new hostel accommodation for senior students of the Air Force Girls Comprehensive School (AFGCS) Jos to further enhance the existing conducive learning environment for the students. Also commissioned was a block of 30 x one bedroom fully furnished residential accommodation, which was named after NAF00/20247 Late Cpl Timon PM, who paid the supreme sacrifice on 27 July 2012 while fighting insurgency and terrorism as part of Operation ZAMAN LAFIYA. The newly commissioned girls' hostel at AFGCS Jos is designed to accommodate a maximum of 64 final year students while the new residential block would accommodate 120 airmen/airwomen of 551 NAF Station Jos. The Guest of Honour at the commissioning ceremony, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Right Honourable (Barrister) Simon Lalong, commissioned the two projects. He commended the consistency and painstaking efforts of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, in ensuring that all personnel of the NAF are decently accommodated. He also expressed his delight as he inspected the newly built girl's hostel stating that “this is nothing but an enviable edifice any parent would want his or her daughter to live in”. The Governor added that the people of Plateau State would continue to be grateful to the NAF for its role in protecting lives and properties in the State. According to him, “The recent establishment of 205 Combat Search and Rescue Group and the

pace of ongoing construction works at the site of the new unit in Kerang is an evidence of the sincere concern of the CAS for the security of lives in the State”. Earlier in his remarks, the CAS noted that the completion of the two projects was another giant stride towards the accomplishment of NAF's objective of improving the welfare of personnel for enhanced professionalism and service delivery. “It is also part of our deliberate effort at enhancing the quality of boarding facilities for the students' in NAF schools with a view to creating a very conducive atmosphere for learning. Accordingly, the NAF maintains, as part of its policy thrust, a commitment to welfare and infrastructural development aimed at positioning its personnel for effective response to Service exigencies”, the CAS added. Air Marshal Abubakar also stated that, as a result of the aggressive infrastructural development in the NAF, over 70 per cent of its personnel are now accommodated in the barracks as against 45 per cent in July 2015. In addition, the CAS said that the ability to concentrate a larger number of the Service's workforce in the barracks was a significant advantage in terms of response to emergencies, regimentation and esprit-de-corps among personnel. He therefore promised that the NAF would continue to place premium on addressing its infrastructural deficits with the objective of creating the enabling environment and motivation for effective and efficient operations by its personnel. The CAS earlier on paid a courtesy call on Governor Lalong immediately after landing at the Jos Airport.

Rearview of the new hostel accommodation at the Air Force Girls Comprehensive School, Jos

Newly constructed hostel accommodation at the Air Force Girls Comprehensive School, Jos

Newly constructed block of 30 x one bedroom residential accommodation for airmen/airwomen at 551 NAF Station, Jos, named after Late Cpl Timon PM

The Executive Governor of Plateau State, Bar Simon Lalong commissioning newly executed projects at the 551 NAF Station, Jos





he Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on 9 January 2018, commissioned a newly built block of boys' hostel at Air Force Comprehensive School (AFCS) Uyo. The befitting new hostel, which was designed and constructed by engineers of the NAF Directorate of Works, is dedicated for the comfort of SS3 students. The new hostel is thus expected to be a source of motivation for the junior students to work hard to get to SS3 Class. In his remarks at the commissioning ceremony, the CAS commended the staff and students of AFCS Uyo for the exemplary and impressive record they had shown over the years in the Senior Secondary School Examination (SSSE) results as well as other external examinations and competitions. Air Marshal Abubakar also recognized that the efforts of the NAF in improving the quality of education in all its schools could not have been possible without the unflinching support of President Muhammadu Buhari. “We are immensely grateful to Mr President for providing the resources and enabling environment for the NAF to effectively deliver on its constitutional roles”, he said. While commissioning the hostel, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State observed that the quality of the hostel competes favourably with hostels of old in Nigeria's premier universities. He therefore congratulated the CAS on the quality

of work done and for improving on the facilities available in the School. He particularly commended the performance of the School in the last SSCE during which nearly 100 per cent of the students had credits in a minimum of 5 subjects, including Mathematics and English Language. He then promised that the State Government would support the NAF's efforts by completing the building of a block of staff quarters, which it had earlier embarked upon. It is noteworthy that many of the students in the School are indigenes of Akwa Ibom State. Speaking earlier, Air Marshal Abubakar expressed the desire of the NAF to partner with the 2 universities in Akwa Ibom State in the area of Research and Development towards further improving the aircraft maintenance capability of the NAF. He added that similar partnerships with other Nigerian universities had already revealed the abundance of talents as a result of which the NAF was able to resolve some aircraft maintenance related challenges. The CAS then announced that a team of NAF officers from the Air Force Research and Development Centre would soon visit the 2 universities in the State in respect of the planned collaboration. In response to the Governor's request for the establishment of a NAF Base in Uyo, Air Marshal Abubakar stated that due consideration would be given to the request.

Frontview of the newly commissioned boys' hostel at the AFCS, Uyo

The Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel inspecting one of the newly commissioned boy's hostel at AFCS, Uyo

Some students of the NAF Comprehensive Secondary school, Uyo on Parade during the commissioning ceremony of the new boys' hostel

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal SB Abubakar and the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel during the commissioning ceremony





he Tactical Air Command of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 24 March, 2018, joined millions of wellmeaning people all over the world to commemorate the 2018 World Tuberculosis Day with a lecture at the Nigerian Air Force Officers Mess, NAF Base Makurdi. Delivering his lecture during the occasion, the Guest Lecture, Dr Igbabul Shember Agbela, an Epidemiologist, stated that 24 March every year is set aside to mobilize and raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of Tuberculosis (TB) and to step up effort to end

the global TB epidemic. According to him, the strategic approach to TB control and various preventive measures to stop the spread of TB was public enlightenment. The Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command, Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, commended the 161 NAF Hospital and others who contributed to the success of the lecture. He stated that the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has over the years left no stone unturned to ensure that NAF personnel received qualitative health care both at home and abroad.

AVM Amao delivering his closing remarks during the occasion



he Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 26 March 2018, held a 3-day Medical Outreach Programme for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the AbaganaAgan IDP camp in Benue State. This followed a directive by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for the NAF Medical Services Branch to conduct the medical outreach for IDPs in the area so as to alleviate their sufferings. Services provided during the medical outreach include primary healthcare and curative services, general and eye surgeries, mass deworming as well as provision of medicated glasses and insecticide treated mosquito nets. While speaking during the flagging off ceremony of the programme, the Executive Governor of Benue State, Doctor Samuel Ortom, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Cecilia OmaileOjabo, lauded the NAF for coming to the aid of IDPs in the State. She noted that the medical intervention by the NAF would go a long way to alleviate the sufferings of about 170,000 IDPs in the area.

A cross session of participants during the lecture


The outgoing AOC TAC, AVM MA Idris handing over the TAC colour to the incoming AOC TAC, AVM IO Amao

Earlier in his remarks, the CAS, who was represented by the Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command (AOC TAC) Makurdi, Air Vice Marshal OladayoAmao, reiterated that the NAF is always mindful and committed towards alleviating health challenges of IDPs in the State and in Nigeria as a whole. At the end of the outreach about 4,450 IDPs were treated while over 100 general and eye surgeries were conducted. The Agan IDP Camp has a population of over 20,000 persons. The outgoing and incoming AOCs TAC during the handing and taking over ceremony





he First Edition of Intra-Command Electronic Shooting Range Competition for units under Special Operations Command (SOC) took place from 26 -27 February 2018 in line with one of the key drivers of the Chief of the Air Staff's vision which is 'Human capacity development through robust and result oriented training for enhanced professional performance'. The Competition was to enhance the marksmanship and weapon handling skills of the personnel as well as promotion of esprit de corps among the personnel. Thirty personnel, comprising 14 officers and 16 airmen/airwomen, participated in the competition. The Guest of Honour, Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command, Air Vice Marshal Ismaila Kaita presented trophies to the deserving units who distinguished themselves. The First in order of merit was 205 CSARG Jos while 251 BSG Bauchi and 201 CG Bauchi came second and third respectively.

Personnel at the electronic shooting range

The AOC SOC, AVM Ismaila Kaita with other personnel of the Command at the electronic shooting range

The AOC SOC, presenting trophy to one of the Winners of the competition



he Air Officer Commanding, Special Operations Command (AOC SOC), Air Vice Marshal Saddiq Ismaila Kaita, called for more collaboration between civil society and the military during his visit to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi. According to him, the NAF was collaborating with reputable universities and institutions on research and development including ATBU. He stated that a country can only develop if its research and development efforts were viable and added that one of the key drivers of the Chief of the Air Staff was 'Strategic partnership with MDAs for enhanced research and development'. In his response, the Vice Chancellor, ATBU, Professor Saminu Abdulrahman praised the leadership of the NAF for its commitment to research and development which has resulted in tremendous improvement on the welfare of NAF personnel. He promised to build on the already existing partnership between the 2 organisations. It would be recall that NAF's collaboration with universities in the country led to the successful production of anti-skid test bench on Alpha Jet aircraft locally. This achievement saved the Nation huge foreign exchange.

The AOC SOC, presenting a souvenir to the Vice Chancellor ATBU, Prof Saminu Adbulrahman





he Bayelsa State Partnership Agency (BSPA), on 17 October, 2017, sought collaboration with the Mobility Command, Nigerian Air Force, to facilitate the drive for peaceful co-existence between oil companies and host communities in the State. The request for collaboration with the NAF was made by the Director General of the BSPA, Honourable Braboke Stanley Enaibagha who was on a courtesy visit to the Headquarters of Mobility Command in Yenagoa. According to him, the BSPA is a Joint Desk comprising representatives of Bayelsa State Government, security agencies and oil companies established in January 2017 to effectively interface between International Oil Companies (IOC) and communities to foster cordial relationship. Honourable Enaibagha cited persistent cases of conflict between oil

companies and oil producing communities which he pointed out have had devastating effects on the economy of the country. Responding, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Mobility Command, Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Steven Onuh, commended the BSPA for visiting the Command. He stated that since inception, the Command had operated within the ambit of its mandate by providing strategic and tactical airlift in support of military operations and assistance to civil authority. The AOC noted that conflict management and peace building strategies that would impact positively in the third world countries could be adopted in the oil rich communities to foster peace and tranquility between the oil companies and host communities.


The Chairman RANAO, Rear Admiral WG Yanga (rtd) making remarks during his visit to the AOC MC


he Air Officer Commanding Mobility Command, Air Vice Marshal Stephen Ikpiletu Onuh recently played host to the Executive Committee of Retired Army, Navy and Air Force Officers' Association (RANAO), Bayelsa State Chapter led by its chairman, Rear Admiral WG Yanga (rtd). The Chairman of RANAO stated that their visit to the Command Headquarters was informed by the need to evolve cordial relationship with serving officers; induct the Air Officer Commanding as their Patron in Bayelsa State and inform him of their right to host the forthcoming RANAO National Annual Meeting in May, 2018. Responding to the Chairman of RANAO, Air Vice Marshal Onuh expressed delight over RANAO's visit to the Command. He described members of the RANAO as retired colleagues of


The AOC MC presenting a plaque to the chairman RANAO

serving officers, who according to him, would leave the service one day. He disclosed that he was an advocate for proper planning for retirement after service. The Chairman later handed over a formal letter of RANAO Patronship to the Air Officer Commanding Mobility Command.



The AOC ATC AVM MA Idris and the DOA HQ NAF AVM Nelson Calmday with other senior ofcers arriving at the venue of the Staff Duties Workshop in Kaduna

The AOC ATC AVM MA Idris delivering his keynote address at the workshop

The Resource person Wg Cdr Adejimi delivering a lecture during the workshop

The NAFOWA Chairperson in Kaduna intimating the AOC on the purpose of her visit

The AOC ATC, DOA with the participants during the workshop

A cross section of the ofcers participating in the workshop

A cross section of PSOs ATC and NAFOWA members during the courtesy visit

The AOC ATC, NAFOWA Chairperson in a group photograph with PSOs and NAFOWA members shortly after visit





he Ground Breaking and Foundation Laying ceremony of the Headquarters Complex, Ground Training Command (GTC), was recently carried out by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar. The Headquarters Complex which is located at Gabon Village in Enugu State was established primarily to enhance the security of lives and properties of Nigerians in t h e S o u t h e a s t o f t h e c o u n t r y. T h e establishment is in addition to the 211 Regiment Group in Owerri. The GTC was unbundled from the erstwhile Training Command on 4 July 2017 to play the specialized role of training ground elements in response to contemporary security challenges. The Executive Gov of Enugu state, Gov Ifeanyi Ugwanyi laying the foundation stone for the Headquarters Complex Ground Training Command

The AOC GTC, AVM SO Akpasa presenting a memento to the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Gov Ifeanyi Ugwanyi

The Governor of Enugu State anked by the CAS and the AOC GTC


The CAS, in a group photograph with the Executive Governor of Enugu State and other guests shortly after the ground breaking ceremony

AOC GTC, PSO's in a group photograph with the Gov of Imo state



Outgone AOC, AVM IJ Yahaya handing over the LC ofcial colour to the incumbent, AVM RN Ekeh

Outgone and incumbent AOCs during the handing and taking over ceremony


L-R: PMC, Air Cdre PLB Keenam, GOH, AVM Femi Gbadebo (rtd), AOC LC, AVM RN Ekeh and other members of high table

Cross section of participants at the diner night


he Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Logistics Command on Thursday 15 Feb 18 conducted its 1st quarter regimental dinner in line with the directive of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to all Commands to conduct the exercise to enable the system re-instil the regimentation necessary for professionalism. In his remarks at dinner, the Air Officer Commanding Logistics Command (AOC LC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Remigus Nnamdi Ekeh said that the regimental dinner is an age-long tradition that pays attention to regimental traditions of the military. He said "NAF decided to revive this tradition because we are trying to be more professional since regimentalism is the core of professionalism.” Retired AVM Femi Gbadebo, who was the Guest of Honour (GOH) at the Regimental Dinner, said the dinner was an official

function where dress, time of assembly, ascendency and other details were specified. According to him, the dinner provides a good opportunity for instilling discipline, training and imbibing acceptable mess etiquette in officers." He commended the current leadership of the NAF for its commitment to its vision to position the NAF into a highly professional and disciplined force through comradeship, regimentation and inter-service cooperation in addition to other key drivers of the CAS vision. The President Mess Committee of Sam Ethnan Air Force Base Officers' Mess, Air Commodore BL Keenam explained that the regimental dinner was a drill which included a dinner, drinking and other events, noting that etiquette requires knowledge of what is appropriate at any given time.



The Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel presenting the Champion trophy to Team Ground Training Command (GTC)

NIGERIAN AIR FORCE INTER COMMAND COMBAT SPORTS COMPETITION The Birth of Combat Fitness to Enhance Efficient Service Delivery Flight Lieutenant Olayinka Lawal


n March 2016, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), under the leadership of Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, took the bull by the horns as it introduced the Inter Command Combat Sports Competition to complement other existing sporting programmes in the NAF. The combat sports competition was introduced so as to engender combat fitness and operational readiness among personnel. Air Marshal Abubakar believed that it is quite impossible to have a sound mind in a frail body. The first edition of the games, dubbed Kaduna 2016 was held at the NAF Base Kaduna, the edition of the games was not without its shortcomings, but marked the beginning of an enviable journey towards attaining optimum physical fitness and operational efficiency in the Service. This is evident as the NAF has, in the past 3 years, recorded momentous accomplishments in the fight against insurgency and has been able to efficiently execute assigned military operations within and outside the country. At the maiden edition of the competition, only 5 teams participated, as the Special Operations Command (SOC) was nonexistent as at that time, while Air Training Command (ATC) and Ground Training Command (GTC) were still together as the


Training Command (TC) before it was unbundled on 4 July, 2017. Other, teams at the games included the Headquarters NAF (HQ NAF), Tactical Air Command (TAC), Mobility Command (MC) and the Logistics Command (LC). Accordingly, Team HQ NAF was crowned the winner of the maiden edition of the competition, while Team TC and Team TAC came second and third respectively. The second edition of the competition took place at the Air Force Military School (AFMS) Jos, Plateau State from 27 to 30 March, 2017. The competition witnessed several improvements when compared with the maiden edition of the games as a Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) simulation exercise was introduced. More so, the NAF Alpha jets and the L39 aircraft showed off their combat dexterity in a Fly Past at the closing ceremony of the event to the delight of the spectators. The game featured 6 teams with Team HQ NAF retaining the first position, while Team TC held on to the second position. Team SOC, which was established on 23 September 2016, 6 months before the competition kicked off, surprisingly went away with the third place medal.

Combat march past during the competition

Invitational Combat relay race

Cross section of Senior Ofcers and other dignitaries in attendance

The Chairman, Organizing Committee, Air Commodore Mfon Ekpoh giving vote of thanks during the closing ceremony

Cultural troupes on display during the closing ceremony

The Final of Tug of War Competition between Teams Special Operations Command and Logistics Command

The Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel presenting a medal to a participant in the invitational relay

Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd) presents a trophy to Team Logistics Command

The CAS presents a trophy to Team HQ NAF

The recently concluded edition of the competition tagged, Uyo 2018, is an evidence of the willingness of the NAF leadership to continue to promote combat fitness amongst its personnel. Obviously, the 2018 edition of the games is a total departure from the 2 previous editions, as it witnessed a stringent competition between the 7 teams drawn from the HQ NAF and the 6 NAF Commands which are TAC, SOC, MC, ATC, GTC and the LC. Another distinguishing feature of the Uyo 2018 was the huge turnout of spectators who cheered continuously at the combination of precision, teamwork, athleticism, endurance and coordination displayed by NAF contingents during the games. The glitz, the abeyance, the organization and coordination was evident in the smooth transitions from one event to the other, elevating the competition beyond the ordinary class of military exercise to a world class sporting event. Preparation for the Uyo 2018 began with a press briefing on 29 March 2018 at the Headquarters NAF (HQ NAF). The briefing was well attended by over 30 media houses drawn from both the traditional mass media and online news media. The press

briefing prepared the ground for the huge turnout of spectators at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on 3 April 2018, the day the competition kicked off. While declaring the competition open, the Executive Governor of Cross Rivers State and the Special Guest of Honour at the ceremony, Professor Benedict Ayade, who was represented by the Deputy Governor of the State, Professor Ivara Esu, lauded the NAF and its leadership for making the physical fitness of its personnel a priority. The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, in his remarks, reiterated the importance of physical fitness to a fighting force. He noted that physical fitness remains the cornerstone of military combat readiness and hence, the NAF leadership's decision to sustain the annual 10 km walk/jog competition, quarterly route march exercise and the combat sports competition. Immediately after the competition was declared opened, combat relay races were held for the male and female categories. At the end of the races, team HQ NAF snatched the gold medal for the male category while LC won the gold medal for the female category.


The CAS presents a trophy to Team Tactical Air Command

The AOC GTC, AVM SA Akpasa lifts the champion trophy

The Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel delivering his address at the closing ceremony

Contingent giving 3 hearty cheers to the GOH during the closing ceremony

The second and third days of the competition witnessed an array of sporting events, which were held concurrently. The events included combat boxing, combat swimming, electronic and live shootings, obstacle crossing, taekwondo, judo as well as tug of war. The combat boxing event featured 3 categories, which included Light Weight (57 to 60kg), Light Welter Weight (61 to 65kg) and the Light Heavy Weight (81 to 85kg). Gold medals were won in the 3 categories by Teams TAC, MC and LC. Likewise, the combat swimming event featured 5 participants each from the teams, 2 females and 3 males. The swimmers were fully kitted in their Full Service Matching Order (FSMO) less riffle. Team TAC emerged best after making the fastest timing. Obstacle crossing, taekwondo and judo witnessed very interesting moments that contributed to the overall successful outcome of the competition. The final of the Tug of War competition was deliberately delayed until the closing ceremony to add glamour to the event. Team LC pulled Team SOC in 2 straight sets to emerge winners of the Tug of War event. At the end of the 2018 NAF Inter-Command Combat Games Competition, Team GTC emerged the overall champion having bagged the highest number of gold medals. The team was able to edge out the other teams by snatching 6 gold and one silver medals. Team LC, which came second, had 5 gold medals, 6 silver medals and 9 bronze medals while Team TAC came third with 5 gold, 6 silver and 3 bronze medals. The fourth, fifth and sixth positions went to Teams HQ NAF, ATC and SOC respectively. Team MC came last with 2 silver and 7 bronze medals. As part of events to mark the end of the games, an


Invitational Combat Relay Race was held. Out of the 3 security agencies that participated, the Nigerian Army (NA) Team carted away the gold medal while the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Nigerian Police came 2nd and 3rd respectively. Thereafter, trophies and medals were presented to winners while the Combat Sports Flag, which signified the end of the 2018 Edition of the NAF Inter-Command Combat Sports Competition, was lowered. In his closing remarks, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State congratulated the champions for distinguishing themselves at the competition. He also congratulated all participants for their painstaking efforts during the games. He noted that the aim of the competition was not just to win medals or trophies but also to promote esprit-de-corps among personnel. The Governor commended the CAS for his pragmatic and workable vision, which has repositioned the NAF into a highly professional Air Force. The Governor, who donated the sum of 2 million to the GTC, the winners of the Competition, appreciated the Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, for continually providing for the Nigerian Armed Forces. He thereafter officially declared the 2018 Edition of the combat sports competition closed.



NAF personnel in Abuja setting out for the First Quarter 2018 Route March Exercise from the Mogadishu Cantonment


he Nigerian Air Force (NAF) held its First Quarter 2018 Route March Exercise for personnel serving in Abuja on 27 January 2018. The Exercise, which was led by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, included serving Youth Corps members. The aim of the Exercise was to keep officers and men of the Service physically and mentally fit to enable them perform their statutory role effectively. The 10km route march exercise kicked off from Mogadishu Military Cantonment to Niger Barracks and back.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal SB Abubakar (2nd left) leading other senior ofcers during the First Quarter 2018 Route March in Abuja

While addressing participants at the end of the Exercise, the CAS commended personnel for demonstrating a high level of physical fitness, stating that contemporary security challenges are very complex and require a sound mind in a sound body. The CAS encouraged personnel to remain focused and professional in the discharge of their constitutional role. According to him, the NAF would not allow anyone to undermine any territory of Nigeria, charging personnel not to be distracted by malicious campaigns from individuals, who are bent on creating anarchy in the country.

State would be activated while an Annex of Headquarters Mobility Command would be established in Akwa Ibom State. The CAS stated that “all these were being done to proactively tackle emerging security issues in the South-South Region”. Air Marshal Abubakar thereafter advised personnel not to rest on their oars but redouble their efforts in Year 2018 towards accomplishing more. He then assured personnel of the readiness of the NAF leadership to continually improve their welfare as they continue to act in the defence of the territorial integrity of the nation.

The CAS warned NAF personnel not to involve themselves in unconstitutional conducts and partisan politics as the 2019 General Elections were fast approaching. He also announced that work was in progress in establishing a Forward Operational Base (FOB) each in Cross Rivers and Akwa Ibom states respectively. He further stated that the FOB in Mubi, Adamawa

The Exercise, which took place simultaneously across all the 6 Commands was part of efforts by the NAF to ensure constant physical fitness of its personnel to tackle various security challenges. The Exercise was led by the respective Air Officers Commanding (AOCs) in the various NAF Commands.


First Quarter 2018 Route March in Tactical Air Command, Makurdi

Special Operations Command, Bauchi during the First Quarter 2018 Route March

The Air Ofcer Commanding, Mobility Command, AVM Stephen Onuh leading other senior ofcer during Personnel of Logistics Command, Lagos during the First Quarter 2018 Route March the First Quarter 2018 Route March in Yenegoa

Mobility Command, Yenegoa during the First Quarter 2018 Route March

In his remarks to personnel after the exercise, the AOC Tactical Air Command (TAC) Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Oladayo Amao, stated that the quarterly exercise was organized for the purpose of ensuring the physical fitness and wellbeing of personnel. According to him, “we need to be physically and mentally fit at all times to perform our military duties”. He noted that the Exercise is in line with the vision of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) "to reposition the NAF into highly professional and discipline force through capacity building initiatives for effective, efficient and timely deployment of Air Power in response to Nigeria's national security imperatives". He charged personnel to always be physically fit and combat ready to defend the territorial integrity of the country any time they were called upon. "If you train hard in peace time, you will bleed less in war time”, the AOC said. In Bayelsa, the AOC Mobility Command, AVM Stephen Onuh commended officers and airmen/airwomen who participated in


NAF personnel serving in Nigerian Defence Academy on First Quarter 2018 Route March in Kaduna

the Exercise for their active performance. He further charged participants to take physical fitness exercise seriously to enable them train actively to achieve an excellent outing during the forthcoming combat sports competition. AVM Ismaila Kaita, the AOC Special Operations Command, Bauchi, charged personnel on the need to ensure physical fitness at all times especially now that the country faces several security challenges. He then urged them to remain loyal to the constituted authority as they carry out their statutory responsibility. In his remarks, the AOC Air Training Command, Kaduna, AVM Mohammed Idris, stated that only mentally and physically sound personnel could tackle the security challenges in the country. He reiterated that training is an ongoing thing, which requires all NAF personnel to maintain a high degree of fitness and capability. According to the AOC, “while our colleagues are in the frontline fighting against the enemies of the State to ensure peace in the country, we will be here training hard to replace

them. We will train hard to ensure that the security of the country comes first”, he said. While addressing NAF personnel at the end of the exercise, the AOC Ground Training Command, Enugu, AVM Sampson Akpasa said that the exercise was to keep NAF personnel combat ready. According to him, “a soldier that is not fit cannot perform satisfactorily, especially during emergencies”. The AOC also added that physical fitness was a prerequisite for successful operation within and outside the country. In Ikeja, the AOC Logistics Command, AVM Remigus Ekeh, charged personnel to continue to participate regularly in various sporting activities to ensure their combat readiness for effective service delivery and survival in national security operations. “Constant physical exercise is for your wellbeing and for us to be physically and mentally fit at all times to perform our duties”. The AOC commended the massive turnout of both officers and men while reiterating that continuous sporting activities are indispensable for personnel to keep fit and continuously equip them for success and survival in any security operations.

Ground Training Command, Enugu during the First Quarter 2018 Route March

The participation of other security agencies, in addition to the NAF personnel and Youth Corps members, added colour to the Exercise, in all the Commands.

Air Training Command, Kaduna during the First Quarter 2018 Route March

National Youth Service Corps members participating in the NAF First Quarter 2018 Route March

Warmup exercise during the First Quarter 2018 Route March in Abuja

The CAS, Air Marshal SB Abubakar addressing personnel shortly after the Route March Exercise in Abuja

The CAS, Air Marshal SB Abubakar granting press interview shortly after the Route March Exercise in Abuja




The Representative of CAS, AVM Muhammadu Mohammed inspecting the newly constructed tness centre at the NAF in Maiduguri


he Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 25 December 2017, commissioned a new fitness centre for frontline personnel serving as part of the Air Task Force, Operation LAFIYA DOLE in Maiduguri. The fitness centre was commissioned by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans at NAF Headquarters Abuja, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Muhammadu Mohammed. During the commissioning event, the CAS stated that the facility would afford officers and airmen/airwomen serving in frontline the opportunity to maintain a sound mind in a sound body, which is necessary for the discharge of their task assigned. He therefore urged them to make good use of the facility to build a healthy state of mind towards more efficiently combatting insurgency in the Northeast. The CAS also seized the opportunity to express appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for his support to the NAF and other security agencies deployed to the Northeast.


Front view of the new tness centre

The Commander of the Air Task Force, AVM Idi Lubo in his address, thanked the CAS for envisioning the fitness centre project. He added that the fitness centre would encourage the frontline personnel to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which is necessary for excellent service delivery. It would be recalled that the NAF, had in recent times, either built and equipped new gymnasia or renovated existing gymnasia in most of its Bases across the country. Of note is the gymnasium, which was recently commissioned in Yola for use by the frontline personnel serving in Yola. The commissioning of the new gymnasium in Maiduguri ensures that all NAF personnel actively involved in the counterinsurgency operations have ready facilities to maintain their physical fitness.


Newly commissioned NAFOWA Little Angels Nursery School Maiduguri



he Nigerian Air Force Officers Wives Association (NAFOWA), on 27 February 2018, commissioned a newly established NAFOWA Little Angels Nursery School in Maiduguri, Bornu State. This was in a bid to make quality nursery school education accessible to children of NAF personnel in the state as well as other children from the host communities. The Special Guest of Honour (SGH), wife of the Executive Governor of Borno State, Hajiya Nana Kashim Shettima commended the NAFOWA on its efforts towards ensuring that children of NAF personnel get deserved quality education, she added that the facilities been commissioned will improve educational infrastructure in the state. Hajiya Shettima added that in the current global society education and technology are both necessities and investment, which everybody must embrace with the seriousness it deserves. She said the newly constructed Nursery School is a clear indication of the importance and priority placed on education by NAFOWA and by extension the Nigerian Air Force. In her words, ''indeed the provision of quality education is a capital intensive project but ultimately rewarding one. Here in Borno State, the government is committed to infrastructural renewal of its educational facilities across board and the provision of sound curriculum and welfare. Education is an integral part of the government's program critical to the attainment of good security and sustainable economic development for the citizens of this great state''. Earlier in her welcome address, the NAFOWA national President, Hajia Hafsat Sadique Abubakar, while delivering her opening remarks reiterated the association's commitment to activities targeted at capacity building and adding value to human lives. She added that this is done to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in providing quality education to the children and wards of NAF Personnel. She explained that the NAFOWA is focused on providing good education in a safe and secured environment. The Association is also focusing primarily on Crèches and Daycares, Kindergarten, nursery schools and Special needs education with the aim of building a solid educational foundation very early in life.



“Maiduguri being an operational base is fully engaged in the campaign against insurgency, the need to create a conducive learning environment for these little ones is always in the heart of members of the association, as a stable home front can only increase the operational efficiency of our dear husbands, she added. Facilities in the school includes 8 fully furnished classrooms, an equipped staff and conference room, a play ground, toilets, water facilities, and admin block, a head teachers office, an admin clerk's office as well as a store room. The new school has a capacity to cater for up to 300 pupils




The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar presenting a starter pack to one of the beneciaries of the NAFOWA Skills Acquisition Programme while being assisted by his wife, the NAFOWA National President Hajiya Hafsat Saddique Abubakar during the closing ceremony in Bauchi


he Nigerian Air Force Officers' Wives Association (NAFOWA) has empowered another set of 165 women and youths, who graduated from its Skills Acquisition Programme at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base in Bauchi. The graduands, comprising 85 women and 80 youths, were trained for 10 weeks in various vocations including Computer Appreciation, Tailoring/Fashion Designing, Catering, Confectioneries Production, Hairdressing, Barbing, Cosmetics Production, Make-up Artistry, Interior Decoration, Aluminium Doors and Windows Fabrication, Leather Shoes, Boots and Bags Fabrication as well as Liquid Soap, In her welcome address at the occasion, which held on 4 December 2017, the NAFOWA National President, Hajiya Hafsat Sadique Abubakar, stated that the initial idea behind the Skills Acquisition Programme was to empower wards of personnel serving on the NAF Base in Makurdi, as most were engaged in the counterterrorism operations in the Northeast. It was then realised that NAFOWA had to extend the programme to other NAF bases because of the obvious need. The Skills Acquisition Programme thus became the flagship programme and focus of the current NAFOWA leadership.


According to Hajiya Hafsat Abubakar, “NAFOWA has trained and empowered over 1000 women and youths in NAF Bases at Makurdi, Maiduguri, Kaduna, Lagos and Port Harcourt in the past 2 years. Many of the previous graduates of our Programme have gone ahead to establish successful and thriving businesses”. The NAFOWA National President stated that NAFOWA believes that it has a part to play in the NAF's Civil Military Cooperation efforts and accordingly encourages members of host communities to benefit from its Skills Acquisition Programme. Furthermore, she reiterated her belief that “when you focus on women and youths, you cannot go wrong”. She then expressed her gratitude to NAFOWA's technical partners, White Empress Consult Limited, and the Association's donors for contributing to the success of the Programme so far. She equally appreciated all the distinguished invited guests who came to add colour to the graduation ceremony, noting that the Association had been encouraged to do even more. She was also full of praises for the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for his support and for always creating the time to be present at graduating ceremonies of NAFOWA's Skills Acquisition Programme, despite his busy schedule.

Pictures of free starter packs to empower graduands of NAFOWA Skills Acquisition Programme in Bauchi

The Wife of the Bauchi State Governor, Hajiya Hadiza Abubakar, assisted by NAFOWA President, Hajiya The Special guest of honour and other dignitaries being conducted round the NAFOWA Skills Acquisition Hafsat Abubakar to present starter pack to one of the graduands of NAFOWA Skill Acquisition Exhibition stand Programme in Bauchi

In his remarks at the occasion, the CAS commended the NAFOWA leadership for initiating the Skills Acquisition Programme, adding that by doing so, NAFOWA was contributing to the welfare of NAF personnel through the building of the capacities of their dependants. He therefore urged the NAFOWA leadership to continue the good work. The CAS stated that he was aware that NAFOWA had different sources of funds, including those being generated from its schools. He nevertheless assured NAFOWA that the NAF was committed to helping the Association in whatever way it could, as part of the NAF's Corporate Social Responsibility. Air Marshal Abubakar then directed the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command to make use of the graduands of the NAFOWA Skills Acquisition Programme to execute subsequent NAF projects in Bauchi. The Special Guest of Honour at the graduation ceremony was the wife of the Governor of Bauchi State, Hajiya Hadiza Abubakar. According to her, a stable home front was key to enabling NAF personnel function optimally in their operational assignments. She further remarked that NAFOWA leadership had demonstrated that it was in tune with the realities of our societies by economically empowering orphans, widows and youths, amongst others. “You are no doubt adding value to the lives of youths and women in the barracks and host communities”, she stated. Guests at the occasion later took the time to visit the exhibition stand showcasing some of the products of the graduating students. The highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of

Cross section of graduands at the event

certificates and starter packs to the graduating students. The NAFOWA National President said that the starter packs being presented to the graduating students was to enable them take off smoothly and possibly later transform into small or medium scale enterprises. Starter packs presented to graduates included sewing machines, computer laptops, hair dryers, electronic ovens, chemicals for manufacturing and other applicable equipment and tools. The graduation ceremony in Bauchi was the Sixth Edition of the NAFOWA Skills Acquisition Programme.



NAFOWA President unveiling the plaque to commission the Hospital Ward renovated by NAFOWA at Benin Central Hospital in commemoration of NAF 54th Anniversary

Mother of a new born baby at Benin Central Hospital smiling with joy as NAFOWA Delegation visits

A nursing mother at Benin Central Hospital receiving gift items from NAFOWA

NAFOWA President presenting Medical Equipment to the Medical Director of Benin Central Hospital

NAFOWA President agging off BYETA Porgramme in 107 AMG Benin

NAFOWA President launching the ď€ sh farming programmem in Benin

Stater packs earmarked for distribution to participants of the 8th NAFOWA Skills Acquisition Programme in Kainji


Cross section of participants of the 8th NAFOWA Skills Acquisition Programme in Kainji


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Profile for The Airman Magazine

The Airman Magazine June 2018  

The Official Publication of the Nigerian Air Force

The Airman Magazine June 2018  

The Official Publication of the Nigerian Air Force