The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Institute of Technology has graduated 123 personnel who took courses in aircraft maintenance, aerospace ground equipment, auto mech as well as logistics and supply chain management.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, during the graduation ceremony on Friday, charged the personnel to bring to bear the skills acquired during the training in the discharge of their duties.
Abubakar was represented by AVM Isiaka Amao, Chief of Policy and Plans, NAF Headquarters at the graduation ceremony of the intermediate sundry courses at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), at NAF base in Kaduna.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 123 graduands underwent six months of training.
“I am here again to graduate another batch of 123 airmen and airwomen who have successfully completed intermediate courses in aircraft maintenance, aerospace ground equipment, auto mech as well as logistics and supply chain management.
“The development of skilled technical manpower for effective and efficient maintenance of NAF platforms and associated equipment remains the core responsibility of this great institution,” he said.
Abubakar said that as a highly technical force, capacity building initiatives is crucial to reducing dependence on foreign expertise and building the confidence of our personnel.
“I am pleased to note that AFIT has performed creditably in discharging this responsibility,” the air chief said.
According to Abubakar, the successful execution of air operations in the North East and other parts of the country is a glowing testament of the capacity building initiatives of the air force.
The initiatives, he said, were to reposition the air force into a highly professional and disciplined force that would respond efficiently, effectively and in a timely manner to national security challenges.
He said that despite the constraints imposed by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, AFIT doggedly continued with the training of the personnel who were graduating.
Abubakar said that the sacrifices demonstrated in the conduct of the courses were commendable and worthy of emulation, in the quest for technological self-sufficiency.
He urged the graduands to remain focused and dedicated to the attainment of the objectives of the institute.
“You are expected to remain disciplined, focused and innovative. You must bring to bear the skills acquired during your training in the discharge of your duties.
The air chief said the scope of NAF operations is dynamic and the sophistication of the platforms and equipment required to prosecute them are becoming increasingly complex.
“Without doubt, the knowledge you have gained here will definitely be put to test in the field, as you bring to bear evidence of your training in the discharge of your duties to enhance national development,” he said.
Abubakar appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his continuous support and belief in the ability of the NAF to produce technical manpower for the maintenance of her platforms and associated ground support equipment.
“This support goes a long way in bolstering the operational efficiency of the NAF in combating insurgency and other forms of criminality in various parts of the country,” he said.
Earlier, the Commandant of AFIT, AVM Abdulganiyyu Olabisi, said the objective of the courses was to improve on the skills acquired by the airmen and airwomen from their basic training.
Olabisi said that AFIT was being repositioned as a centre of excellence in research and development.
He, however, said that lack of essential tools and workshop equipment were major constraints to this aspiration.
“We are focused on establishing a culture of research and development.
“To ameliorate the situation, we are requesting HQ NAF to assist in the provision of training aids, workshop equipment and tools to facilitate the conduct of practicals for military courses in AFIT.
“Furthermore, as the demands of 21st Century education increase and get more sophisticated, so also should the capacity of the instructor’s increase,” he said.
The commandant said the 123 students had completed their training in the various fields of specialisation.
He listed these as Intermediate Airmen Aircraft Maintenance Course, Airframe and Power Plant Option; Intermediate Airmen Aircraft Maintenance Course, Avionics Option; and Intermediate Aircraft Ground Equipment Course.
Others are Intermediate Automech Course and Intermediate Logistics Certificate Course.