Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, has commended past Chiefs of Air Staff (CAS) for contributing to the “success story” of the Service.
Mustapha, according to Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, gave the commendation at NAF’s 55th Anniversary Dinner/Gala Night in Abuja.
He also expressed his admiration for the current Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for the strings of successes recorded in recent times by the Force.
Mustapha noted that the revolutionary development of the NAF into an operationally efficient Service through quality training of its manpower, lent credence to the success story of the force.
He congratulated officers who were specially recognised at the event and urged them to sustain their devotion to duty so as to ensure that NAF continued to succeed in all its endeavours.
The SGF said that NAF Day 2019 celebrations provided an avenue for it to showcase itself to the world.
He stated that most Nigerians understood the sacrifices and efforts of the Service towards ensuring that law-abiding citizens were safe to go about their daily endeavours without fear.
He noted that the activities of the celebration would go further to convince Nigerians that public funds were being well utilised in providing safety and security of citizens.
Earlier in his remarks, the CAS recounted how NAF had gone through remarkable developments over the years.
He said that the Service had lived up to “and, in some instances, even exceeded expectations in the discharge of its responsibilities”.
These achievements, he said, were among the reasons for which the Gala Night was put together.
Abubakar also acknowledged the support of President Muhammadu Buhari to the improvement of NAF platforms.
He said aside from the fleet of Super Tucano aircraft the government recently ordered and paid for, the Force had taken delivery of a variety of platforms, especially helicopters, since inception of Buhari’s administration.
According to him, these include two Agusta 109P inducted on Monday as well as 4 Mi-35M Helicopters, 10 Super Mushshak trainer aircraft and 2 Bell-412 Helicopters.
The statement said that at the event, NAF rewarded the gallantry of some its personnel and recognized outstanding performances of two deserving individuals as well as presented prizes to winners of 2019 NAF Research and Development Competition.
It said that Tactical Air Command (TAC) clinched first place in the R&D Competition, while Air Training Command (ATC) and 041 Communications Depot, Shasha, placed second and third.
”One of the officers rewarded for gallantry was Flt.- Lt. Ilu Yusuf, who had flown over 785 combat hours on the Mi-35 Helicopter Gunship, playing very key roles during various operations in the North-East Theatre of Operation.
“His effort during Operation DEEP PUNCH led to the capture of Camp Zero from the Boko Haram Terrorist group.
”The second award for gallantry went to Flt.- Lt. Muadab Getso, a seasoned fighter pilot who has logged over 1,000 combat flying hours on the Alpha Jet, participating in several operations in the North-East,” the statement added.