The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Friday said it trained 323 specialists to man its platforms .
Speaking during the graduation ceremony in Kaduna, Chief of Aircraft Engineering, NAF headquarters, AVM Musa Mukhtar, congratulated the graduands for completing the course successfully.
According to him, the success of any Air Force depends largely on its human resource, especially in the areas of logistics support, which the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), is mandated to develop in readiness for deployment at any time.
Muhktar explained that to address the current security challenges, NAF must put together, a carefully planned strategy to be self-reliant in the maintenance and sustenance of all its air assets.
He said the moves towards self-reliance implied complete dependence on NAF personnel to man and sustain platforms to safeguard the country from foreign infiltration.
He said the move would also save foreign exchange that would have otherwise been expended on expatriates for maintenance of platforms.
Mukhtar also explained that was paradigm shift in training, with trainees now focusing more on practicals rather than theories.
“The review of curriculum to bridge the gap between theory and practice would thus facilitate implementation of one of the key drivers of the Chief of Air Staff’s vision of purposeful training and manpower development.
”Accordingly, the Intermediate and advanced courses are expected to shapen the airmen/airwomen into skilled technicians that will provide adequate manpower for effective and efficient maintenance and sustenance of our platforms,” he said.
He urged the graduands to keep their hands busy by practicing all that they had learnt.
“You must let the impact of your training be reflected in improved skill and capacity of your various units.
“We look forward to seeing you in the field conducting higher levels of maintenance that were hitherto conducted abroad,” he said.
Earlier, the Commandant of AFIT, AVM Musba’u Olatunji, said the courses were conducted at enormous costs to the Nigerian Air Force.
Olatunji said the Chief of Air Staff had given special attention to the, being the arrowhead of his quest for capacity building for the sustenance and maintenance of platforms.
“Despite the enforced COVID-19 break, we were able to run all military courses, as well as Diploma and Degree programmes concurrently.
“In addition, AFIT successfully hosted the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle competition, where interested participants from the public competed and a student of AFIT won the overall best price,” he said.
According to him, due to the success of the event, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund has taken over the sponsorship of the competition, which will now be held annually.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that of the 323 persons that graduated, 204 personnel participated in advanced courses while 119 attended intermediate courses. (NAN)