By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The Military Writers Society of Nigeria (MWSN) has commended the high command of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) for deploying Special Forces (SF) operatives to Southern Kaduna.
The Society also notes that in furtherance of its efforts at equipping laboratory scientists with requisite skills necessary to improve the detection, identification, accurate diagnosis and reporting of malaria cases, NAF conducted a five-day capacity building workshop at the 661 NAF Hospital (661 NAFH) Ikeja, Lagos.
Administrative Secretary of the military writers, Thomas Anom, in a media chat with some journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, said the Society’s President, Akanimo Sampson, was full of praises for the NAF authorities for the ‘’two laudable initiatives’’.
The workshop which commenced on August 10, had 30 medical laboratory scientists drawn from NAF units across the country in attendance.
Speaking during the event, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Commander, 651 Base Services Group, Ikeja, Air Commodore Rasaq Olanrewaju, described medical laboratory science as a key component of any healthcare system.
He noted that more than 70 per cent of the information required for proper medical diagnosis is generated by the laboratory, disclosing that the NAF has accordingly made significant investments in medical laboratory equipment as well as infrastructural upgrade and training of its laboratory scientists.
According to the military writers, NAF recently approved the procurement of additional laboratory equipment and payment of accreditation fees for the re-certification of 661 NAFH Laboratory to the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 15189 standard.
According to Air Marshal Abubakar, ‘’the production of accurate and reliable laboratory results was predicated on the establishment of robust Quality Management System’’, and accordingly tasked NAF laboratory scientists to work assiduously to ensure that more of the NAF’s laboratories attain the international accreditation status of ISO 15189.
‘’Ultimately, this workshop should lead to higher quality laboratory services and improved patient care in our medical units’’, the chief of air staff added.
The workshop however, ended on August 14, with the award of certificates to the participants.
Continuing, the military writers said they are impressed with the NAF chief on his action on Southern Kaduna. As part of efforts to support ongoing armed security operations in the North Western Zone of Nigeria, NAF on August 16, deployed Special Forces (SF) operatives to the troubled area.
‘’The SF Team is led by the Commander of the 404 Force Protection Group, Squadron Leader Richard Ngaro. The team was airlifted by a NAF Mi-171E Helicopter from NAF Base Kaduna to Kafanchan, where they were received by the Commander Sector 7 of Operation SAFE HAVEN, Colonel David Nwakonobi, to join the contingent of the Defence Headquarters SF personnel already deployed to the area’’, the pro-military group says.
‘’During the deployment, Air Marshal Abubakar, who was represented by the Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command, Air Vice Marshal Musa Mukhtar, told the troops that the deployment was in line with DHQ Directives to beef up Operation SAFE HAVEN.
‘’The CAS charged the SF personnel to maintain the high level of discipline that the NAF is known for, whilst always upholding the NAF’s core values of ‘Integrity’, ‘Service before Self’ and ‘Excellence’ as they carry out their assigned tasks. He equally reminded them to ensure they respect the human rights and personal freedoms of all law-abiding citizens in the course of performing their duties’’, the military writers said.
The NAF SF Team, according to them, ‘’are additional elements to augment the DHQ SF personnel already deployed to beef up Sector 7 of Operation SAFE HAVEN in Southern Kaduna. The deployment will last as long as necessary until lasting peace is restored.
‘’NAF also has Operation THUNDER STRIKE, which is domiciled in Kaduna to take care of the North-West axis, with the Air Component Commander coordinating the air power aspect from Kaduna in support of ground operations in Southern Kaduna.’’
As part of efforts to enhance civil-military relations, the military writers say a NAF medical team is arriving Southern Kaduna to conduct medical outreach to provide healthcare services to displaced persons and others affected by the crisis.
While highlighting that the military was in the state to assist the civil populace, the CAS calls on the residents of Southern Kaduna to cooperate with the Commander Operation SAFE HAVEN and his troops by providing credible information that would facilitate the effective conduct of their operations.