NAF trains 90 pilots in 2 years, 66 others undergoing training
Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it has trained a total of 90 fighter pilots in the last two years for counterinsurgency and other security operations across the country.
Similarly, the NAF said it has taken delivery of 16 brand new aircrafts in the last three years.
Chairman of the 2019 NAF Day Celebration 2019, tagged NAF@55, Air Commodore Nnamdi Ananaba, who made this known at a media briefing in Abuja, also said that 66 pilots are currently undergoing training within and outside the country.
Speaking further, he said: “Over 7,000 personnel have been trained in different specialties and these include over 4,000 Regiment personnel and 1,000 Special Forces personnel who have been actively involved in combat operations with the army.”
According to him, “NAF within the last 3 years has taken delivery of 16 brand new aircraft (10 X Super Mushshak, 4 X Mi-35M and 2 X Bell 412 helicopters), while another 18 (4 X A-109 Power and 1 X Mi-35M, 1 X AW139 helicopter and 12 Super Tucano) are either expected soon or have been paid for and are expected to be inducted into Service in 2020. In the same vein, 14 previously grounded aircraft such as Falcon 900, ATR-42, Beechcraft, Super Puma, EC-135 Do-228, Mi-35P, F-7 and L-39 have been reactivated.”
He said the NAF Day celebrations, which will hold in Abuja between April 27-29, would afford the NAF the opportunity to reflect on how far it has fared.
“It would also enable the NAF to show the Nigerian taxpayers what their air force is capable of. With hind sight, we realize that the NAF has a lot to celebrate and showcase. From being a Service which, during the civil war, rolled bombs out of aircraft by hand, to one that is highly professional and equipped with advanced aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) capable of precision strikes from as far away as 250km, there has obviously been a remarkably change; much of which as achieved within the last 3 and half years.”