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Air Chief wings 91 pilots in three years

The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has winged a total of 91 pilots in three years as part of effort to…

The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has winged a total of 91 pilots in three years as part of effort to enhance the operational and tactical capacity of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

The capacity building initiative of the CAS received a further boost with the winging of another combat Pilot, Flying Officer Salihu Ibrahim Usman who recently completed his Basic Fighter Introduction Course in the United States of America (USA).

A statement on Wednesday by NAF’s spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said the investiture, which took place yesterday at the NAF Headquarters, has brought to 91 the total number of pilots winged within the past 3 years.

He added that this is besides the 67 NAF officers who are currently undergoing flying training in various flying institutions both within and outside the country.

He said, “It is therefore expected that by this time next year, the total number of new pilots would reach an unprecedented 158 in just 4 years. “

He noted that, “More remarkably, among the 67 student pilots, is the first female NAF student fighter pilot, who is currently undergoing Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) in the USA, as well as another female student pilot, who is undergoing helicopter training in South Africa to become the first female helicopter pilot in the NAF.”

Daramola said while speaking during the winging ceremony, the CAS, expressed delight to receive the pilot back from the USA and congratulated him for his outstanding performances during the SUPT and Basic Fighter Introduction Courses.

He stated that the officer’s exceptional results on the various courses came as no surprise given his pedigree in emerging best graduating NAF Cadet in his course at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) and also performing extremely well during the Initial Officer Training (IOT) Course at the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell United Kingdom (UK).

The CAS remarked that the young pilot was returning to the country at a time when the NAF was about to receive additional combat platforms in the shape of the A-29 Super Tucano and JF-17 Thunder Multi-Role Fighter.

He said the new platforms would improve NAF’s ability to more effectively respond to national security imperatives.

Air Marshal Abubakar advised the officer to apply his newly acquired knowledge and skills to add value to the counter-terrorism operations in the Northeast as well as ongoing operations in other parts of the country.

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