In a remarkable stride towards bolstering its technical capabilities, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) witnessed the graduation of 628 skilled personnel from the 2022/2023 Sundry Technical Military Programmes conducted by the esteemed Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT).
This monumental achievement, which unfolded on the 9th of September 2023, underlines NAF’s commitment to enhancing its technical workforce, thus playing a pivotal role in achieving self-reliance for maintenance and operation of its platforms and equipment.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, represented by Air Vice Marshal Nnamdi Ananaba, acknowledged the paramount importance of AFIT’s technical programmes.
He emphasized that these programmes have been instrumental in elevating the quality of NAF’s skilled technical personnel.
Such a transformation has not only bestowed prestige upon the NAF but has also instilled confidence in their self-reliance abilities.
Furthermore, it has led to the development of internal capacities for training, substantially reducing the need for costly foreign training programs and conserving precious foreign exchange.
Air Marshal Abubakar reiterated NAF’s commitment to becoming a more agile and resilient force, capable of meeting the nation’s air power demands across all operational scenarios.
He emphasized that AFIT, as NAF’s premier training institution, is strategically positioned to facilitate the realization of this vision by providing deliberate training and mission-oriented force development.
Addressing the graduates, the Chief of the Air Staff stressed the importance of continuously enhancing their professional competencies.
These competencies are vital in ensuring optimal aircraft serviceability and availability, aligning with Nigeria’s national security imperatives.
In these challenging times marked by heightened insecurity, the NAF plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the nation, and the skills of these graduates are essential for this purpose.
The CAS underscored the end of leniency towards criminal elements, emphasizing the need to persist until they are brought to justice.
Air Marshal Abubakar expressed his gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his unwavering support of the Armed Forces, particularly the NAF.
This support has been instrumental in achieving the current level of operational success.
The Commandant of AFIT, Air Vice Marshal Sani Rabe, proudly announced the composition of the graduating class. It consisted of 37 officers who completed the Initial Officers’ Course and 591 airmen/airwomen who successfully finished various Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Upgrading courses.
A noteworthy highlight was the presence of international participants, with 4 officers from the Ghana Air Force and 3 Airmen from the Tanzanian Air Force among the graduates.
This international collaboration reflects AFIT’s commitment to sharing technical expertise across borders.
Air Vice Marshal Rabe highlighted AFIT’s journey from its inception as the Technical and Supply School in 1977 to its current status.
The institution has undergone various stages of development and accreditation.
Notably, AFIT received Presidential Assent to the AFIT Act in 2017, marking a significant milestone.
Subsequently, the National Universities Commission accredited AFIT as a full-fledged degree-awarding institution, opening its doors to students from all corners of the nation and beyond.
The graduation ceremony served as a platform for NAF’s senior military officers, government dignitaries, traditional rulers, and international partners to celebrate the accomplishments of these skilled graduates.
Their training and expertise represent a crucial step towards ensuring the security and self-reliance of the Nigerian Air Force.