The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Friday graduated 186 Special Forces (SF) and Integrated Combat Operations (ICO) personnel who successfully completed their courses in Bauchi.

One hundred-and forty-seven of the graduates were of SF course 8/2021, while the 39 others were of the ICO course 1/202, all trained at the Regiment Training Centre Annex in Bauchi.

Addressing the graduates, AVM James Gwani, Chief of Training and Operations, said the Regiment Training Centre remained a centre of excellence in the pursuit of ground combat skills training for NAF.

AVM Gwani represented the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Isiaka Amao, at the ceremony.

Gwani said the training was designed in a way to ensure that personnel of regiment, Air Police and intelligence specialties complemented themselves in Base Defence Architecture.

“In this light, let me acknowledge the contributions of the Ground Training Command and Training Team for the great jobs that they are doing.

“We have so far trained 1,415 personnel in this regard. I am happy to note that the collaboration between our organisation and other security agencies are mutually beneficial,’’ he said.

He said NAF would continue to build sustainable and functional Air Force that would be highly responsive to the nation’s security challenges.

“We have continued to invest in capacity building aimed at generating combat forces capable of securing their bases against all forms of hostile elements.

“The desire to make NAF the best in the sub-region necessitates new platforms, equipment and specialised training to support Federal Government’s policies.

“This, we must do to provide peace enforcement to counter insurgency in furtherance of our national security and developmental objectives,” AVM Gwani said.

Earlier, Wing Cdr. Kehinde Akinyosade, Commander (Training), said 503 personnel were nominated for the training out of which 165 were certified fit after screening.

Of the 165 who were certified fit, 18 withdrew, leaving Friday’s 147 graduates to complete the Special Forces Course 8/2021.

“Forty were nominated for the ICO Course 1/2021; one personnel was screened out for medical reasons leaving the 39 who graduated on Friday,’’ he said

Akinyosade added that personnel for the SF course were five officers and 141 Airmen/Airwomen, while the ICO course graduates were 35 males and four females. (NAN)

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