WorldStage Newsonline– In its stride to projecting air power within and outside Nigeria, the Nigerian Air force, on Monday commissioned 12 newly graduated pilots; and two Liberian Armed Forces’ pilots.
Among the 14 newly graduated pilots, 10 including two Liberian counterparts were trained at the International Aviation College in Ilorin, while two others graduated from the African Union Aviation College in South Africa.
Speaking during the ceremony at the headquarters of the Nigeria Air force in Abuja, Minister of Defence Mansur Ali, said the winging of the newly graduated pilots was the second to be conducted in 2018, adding that a total of 25 officers would have been winged this year.
The Minister of Defence who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Nuratu Batagarawa noted that the winging of the newly graduated pilots demonstrate the preparedness of the Nigeria Air force to meet our national security, saying, “with the great stride it has recorded in the countering of terrorism, cattle rustling and herdsmen killing in part of the country.”
Ali said the decision of the Armed Forces of Liberia to partner Nigeria had greatly promoted the bilateral relationship between both countries, while commending the Chief of Air Staff for his leadership and patriotic determination to promote professionalism and expertise for better performance of the Nigeria Air Force.
He said, the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, remained resolute in the commitment to safeguarding lives and properties.
Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, explained that the Nigeria Air Force in the last three years had continue to project air power both within and outside Nigeria,
“To achieve this, we have embarked on human capacity development to reposition the Nigeria Air Force to adequately deal with these challenges,” he said.
He said the Service will continue to discharge its mandate professionally and diligently as provided in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to him, four Nigerian Air Force student pilots with the first female potential fighter pilot, are currently undergoing training with the United States Air Force.
He said, “In addition, we have one student pilot with the Royal Moroccan Air Force and four 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 Nigerian Air Force Flying Training Schools, all expected to graduate by the end of this year.
The CAS urged the Nigeria and librarian newly wing pilot to be prepared for the task ahead saying, “flying operation requires discipline and hard work”
He charged the new pilots to be mentally prepared for mentoring by their captains and other senior colleagues, while he reminded them to stick to the 3Ds to success which are Drive Discipline and Desire in the quest for daily improvement and that they should learn the rudiment of their craft.
“Remember that you are being inducted into flying operations at a key moment in our nation’s history. Consequently, you would do well to always remember that the hopes of millions are resting on your broad shoulders,” he said.
The Liberian Minister of Defence, Major General Daniel Ziankahn Junior (Rtd), said the Armed Forces of Liberal remained indebted to Nigeria for it contributions to the peace in Liberia today.
“I’m delighted of the marking of the winging ceremony of both the Nigeria Air Force and Librarian Armed Forces. There have been a long relationship between Liberian and Nigeria. I am a witness to that during our civil war in 1990. We had no one but Nigerians,” he said.