The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar says success of any Air Force depends largely on the air engineering specialty.
Abubakar stated this during a two-dayAir engineering conference at NAF Base Kaduna on Thursday
The conference is themed, “Building Capacity for Self-reliance in Aircraft/Armament Engineering for Enhanced Air Power Delivery in the NAF”.
The Chief of Air Staff was represented by Chief of Policy and Plan NAF Headquarters, AVM Isiaka Amao.
“There is no gainsaying that the success of any Air Force depends largely on the air engineering specialty, tasked with ensuring aircraft readiness for deployment at any time.
”Air Engineering is the bedrock of aviation and it involves the performance of tasks required to ensure the continuing airworthiness of aircraft and armament systems.
“As such, the NAF consistently seeks ways of standardizing her maintenance procedures and operations in line with current global best practices,” he said.
Abubakar noted that the theme was apt considering the current security situation in the country, which ”requires self-reliance in air power projection.”
He said this was in line with the vision of “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 security imperative.”
Abubakar explained that addressing the current security challenges, the NAF must put together a carefully planned strategy not only covering maintenance of platforms but also to be self-reliant in the maintenance of all its air assets.
” It is only when we get the strategy right that we can hope to effectively and efficiently deploy air power necessary to address challenges facing the country.
“In cognizant of the critical element that aircraft serviceability entails in timely employment of airpower, we have focused attention on developing the capacity of armament and aircraft maintenance personnel through robust and result-oriented training both locally and overseas.
“We have also gone into partnerships with several organizations to enhance maintenance capacity.
”Specifically, we have entered MOU with PAF for in-country PDM and reactivation of aircraft with the aim of transferring knowledge to NAF personnel in the process,” CAS said.
According to him, the impacts of these trainings have been evident in improved skill and capacity of personnel to conduct higher levels of maintenance, hitherto conducted abroad.
”We must sustain and consolidate these models of training for capacity building of our maintenance personnel,” he said.
Abubakar added that NAF would continue to expend tremendous material and financial resources building the capacity of armament and aircraft maintenance personnel through various training programmes at home and abroad.
He said that NAF appreciated that foreign training remained a source of great inspiration for NAF maintenance personnel.
Abubakar commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support to the military, especially the Nigerian Air Force, through the provision of platforms and logistics.
” We have recently received some new platforms while awaiting the delivery of others.
“A number of platforms in our inventory are also undergoing reactivation and will soon be re-injected back to service to boost our counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations.”
He noted that the fantastic efforts of the Federal Government to adequately equip the military were already yielding fruits.
Earlier, the Chief of Aircraft Engineering, AVM Misbau Olatunji, said the conference participants comprised key personnel responsible for steering aircraft and armament maintenance in the force.
Olatunji said the present administration had put in significant efforts towards building self-reliance in aircraft and armament maintenance.
“This has been manifest in numerous approvals for engineering training both home and abroad, reactivation of hitherto moribund workshops in engineering units.
“Establishment of the Central Avionics Overhaul and Calibration Centre (CAOCC) and engagement of some resourceful retired aircraft engineering personnel and expatriates at interval to provide mentorship for our personnel among others.
“It is in furtherance of this laudable effort that this conference is being held to examine the achievements made so far and fashion out ways to propel the NAF to greater height of self-reliance in Aircraft and Armament Engineering for enhanced air power delivery,” he said.