Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has charged the new graduands of the Air Force War College (AFWC) Course 4/2018 to strive for excellence and professionalism in the discharge of their duties.

Dan-Ali gave the charge in a statement signed by Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Director, Public Relations and Information, Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Makurdi and released in Abuja on Tuesday.

The minister represented by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, spoke during the graduation ceremony of the course participants at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base Markurdi.

He said that the NAF and its personnel had displayed commendable professionalism and that the service must sustain its operations to deal decisively with the security challenges facing the nation.

Dan-Ali added that air power, being a critical element of the military, had remained a formidable force in the preservation of the nation’s territorial integrity.

He commended the gallantry of officers and airmen/airwomen of the NAF in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the country.

The minister noted that the service has played crucial roles in the successes recorded so far in the armed forces’ operations against the insurgents.

He assured the service of the current administration’s continued support to the armed forces and other security agencies.

In his remarks, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said he was happy the AFWC training had positively impacted the professional performance and service delivery capacity of successive sets of graduates.

“These improved performances have vindicated our belief in establishing the college to help bridge the observed gaps in quality of officers transiting from tactical to operational and strategic levels in the NAF”, he said.

He said he was delighted that most of the graduates had excelled in subsequent courses, including the National Defence Course.

The CAS reiterated that the service had adopted some measures geared towards building capacity and developing the competencies and skills of personnel of all specialities.

According to him, the operational capability has received a boost through the increased turnout of pilots and other support personnel.

Abubakar observed that in 2018 alone, a total of 3,930 personnel, including 130 pilots on rotary and fixed wing platforms, underwent various training programmes.

This, he said, was to ensure that the NAF fulfilled its mission as well as attained its objectives of securing the lives and property of Nigerians in concert with sister services and other security agencies.

He appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari, saying his support and exemplary leadership in the face of compelling economic challenges had made the establishment of the college a reality.

In his remarks, Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue, represented by his deputy, Benson Abonu, commended the NAF for its immense contributions to the security of the state.

He also lauded the initiative taken by the current NAF leadership by establishing the college and for other innovations which had enhanced the stature of the service and improved its operational effectiveness.

AVM Charles Oghomwen, the Commandant of AFWC, also commended the Federal Government for its support to the college.

Oghomwen advised the graduands to continue to build their capacities, saying knowledge acquisition was a continuous process.