The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Saturday conducted a special search and rescue training for some of its personnel, to deepen their competence during combat operations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training exercise code named “Taimako Yazo” was conducted on the Kaduna-Abuja expressway.
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Sadiq Abubakar, in his address, said personnel readiness was key to the success of any military operations.
Mr Abubakar recalled that in 2019 the NAF had conducted several counter-terrorism exercises in Kaduna, Kano, Niger and Osun.
He said this was in a bid to further develop the capacity of its Special Operations Force, to be better positioned to respond to the various security challenges bedeviling the country.
“The overall desire is to ensure that our personnel are trained and equipped to maintain very high level of combat readiness and operational effectiveness.
“This aspiration no doubt is in tandem with our yearning to reposition the NAF into a highly professional and disciplined force through capacity building initiatives for effective, efficient and timely employment of air power, in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives.
“Accordingly, today’s exercise which is based on a Combat Search and Rescue situation is designed to exercise the capacity of our personnel to rescue downed aircrew who have had to eject or abandon their aircraft in emergency situations.
“The importance of training to a fighting force like the NAF cannot be over emphasised as regular purposeful training remains the cornerstone of military combat readiness,” he added.
According to Mr Abubakar, “this will ensure that NAF personnel are always at top physical fitness level to be able, willing and ready to execute any mission successfully.”
“It is in realisation of this that the NAF ensures that its personnel are mentally alert and physically fit at all times through regular training and exercises to ensure that we remain continually willing, able and ready to defend the nation,” he said.
The Air Chief stated “that even with today’s modern weapon systems, it is the personnel with competence that would make the difference in any current or future conflict situations”.
“This philosophy has been incorporated into the NAF policies and regulations to ensure that personnel maintain a high level of combat readiness that would ensure efficiency and effectiveness in conduct of a wide spectrum military operations.
“Accordingly, in the quest to achieve professionalism, service members are subjected to excruciatingly difficult training procedures and exposures to various terrain conditions to enable them to achieve and maintain a high level of combat effectiveness.
“This, no doubt, will help our personnel perform at the highest standards, throughout their career.
“By organising this exercise we are also mindful of the need to sustain professionalism among our personnel,” he said.
Mr Abubakar lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support for the growth and development of the NAF.
He reassured Nigerians that the NAF remained fully committed to the successful execution of its constitutional roles and would continue to meet its statutory responsibility of defending the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation.
Earlier, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC), NAF Special Operations Command, Charles Ohwo, said that the objective of the exercise “was to rehearse the outfit’s tactics and doctrine.”