The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadiq Baba Abubakar, has said the graduation of five Agusta 109EM Helicopter Pilots and eight Alpha Jet Pilots will provide qualitative manpower to meet the operational needs of the Service.
Abubakar stated this at the weekend during the Combined Air Range Exercise and Graduation Ceremony for members of Tactical Helicopter Course 1/2019 and Tactical Fighter Courses 23 and 24A in Makurdi in Benue State.
The Air Chief who congratulated the pilots on their successful graduation urged them to strive to hone their skills through focus and discipline.
Earlier, the Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command, AVM, MZ Suleiman, informed that the 5 Agusta 109EM Helicopter Pilots were trained at 405 Helicopter Combat Training Group Enugu while four of the eight graduating Alpha Jet pilots were trained in 407 Air Combat Training Group Kainji, with the other 4 Alpha Jet pilots trained with the Egyptian Air Force.
He said the feat was achieved because the command had been provided with necessary logistic and administrative support in a timely manner, ensuring the smooth and unhindered progress in the flying training activities and indeed other activities of the Air Training Command.
Suleiman noted that the Air Training Command has recorded tremendous achievements due to the vision of Air Marshal Abubakar’s led leadership of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
“Without taking our memories too far back, just 2 weeks ago, the Air Training Command graduated 11 Instructor Pilots, 3 Captains and 2 Co-Pilots from 401 Flying Training School (FTS) Kaduna.
“The sustained progress in different flying training programmes in the Command are indicators that the enabling environment and other logistics, necessary to support flying training are being provided,” he said.
On their part, Squadron Leader, Kelechi Nwagba and Flying Officer, Ahmed Kabir Galadanci, who spoke with Daily Trust, expressed satisfaction that with the completion of their training, they are willing, able and ready to undertake assigned missions.