By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
In its quest to more effectively and efficiently fulfill its constitutional mandate of protecting Nigeria’s airspace and ensuring peace and security of the nation, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), winged another female helicopter pilot and 11 others at a low-key ceremony held at Headquarters NAF, Abuja.
NAF in a statement issued yesterday by Air Commodore, Ibikunle Daramola, Director of Public Relations and Information, said the winging of the pilots symbolized their official induction into the prestigious NAF pilots’ corps.
“With this, the NAF has winged over 114 pilots, amongst which are 5 females, in the last 4 and half years, who are already undertaking various missions in different theaters of operation across the country.”
In his remarks at the ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who expressed his delight over the successful completion of the training by the young pilots, noted that the desire of the NAF to fulfill its constitutional mandate has remained the motivating factor to continuously seek ways to regularly improve operational capacity of the Service through training and retraining.
He added that the event marked another milestone in the history of the NAF as a Service.
The CAS explained that the NAF had, in the last 4 and half years, remained resolute in conscientiously developing human capacity of both aircrew and non-aircrew through qualitative training to adequately reposition the Service for timely employment of Air Power in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives.
According to him, the 12 pilots winged today had their flying training both in Nigeria and abroad, and have completed the 9 months comprehensive flying training programme. “I am happy that we have among the 12 the second ever female helicopter pilot”, he added.