No fewer than 233 Nigerian Air Force pilots are presently undergoing specialized training at different aviation colleges in the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa and the Czech Republic.
Also, four new wings comprising two fighter pilots and two combat helicopter pilots have just completed their training in the US.
Disclosing this at the winging of the four new pilots in Abuja on Tuesday, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, said this bears glowing testament to the NAF’s commitment towards enhancing and sustaining critical airpower capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of national security imperatives.
This, according to him, was based on the fact that the service cannot effectively and efficiently employ airpower if it did not have sufficient number of well-trained aviators and support personnel.
Amao promised to sustain purposeful training and human capacity development for NAF personnel.
He stated, “In line with this drive, I am glad to note that the Nigerian Air Force has several other pilots as well as personnel from other specialties undergoing various training courses both at home and abroad.
“For instance, we currently have a total of 233 officers and airmen/airwomen undergoing training courses overseas, cutting across several specialties and trades.
“Out of this number, four student pilots are in the Czech Republic undergoing basic fighter training on the L-39 aircraft. In the same vein, two student pilots are undergoing helicopter training at United States of America, while additional two have been processed to join them in the coming days.
“Furthermore, 10 pilots are in the United Kingdom undergoing basic helicopter pilot training. Additionally, another 17 are in South Africa undergoing basic fixed-wing pilot training.”
All these, he said, were aimed at maintaining combat readiness at significantly higher levels to counter both domestic and foreign threats to the nation’s security and wellbeing.
The CAS admonished the new Wings to be relentless in pursuit of excellence and professionalism as operational pilots, while working with their colleagues across other specialties in the service.
“You must also strive to imbibe the doctrine of jointness in the forward lines as you interact with personnel from sister services and other security agencies in various theatres of operation nationwide for more enduring results,” Amao counselled.