By Raphael Oni
As the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), marks it 57th years Anniversary, plans have been concluded for the Induction of its newly acquired aircraft in Markudi, Benue State and to launch its telemedicine facility in Abuja.
The Chairman, Anniversary Organizing Committee, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, while addressing press in Abuja on Friday,, said the anniversary will feature the induction of a new platform as well as an aerial display by L-39ZA, A-jet and the newly acquired JF-17 Thunder Aircraft.
The Chairman said the telemedicine facility will be launched at NAF Base, Asokoro on Tuesday, May 18, saying it is the first of its kind in the Armed Forces of Nigeria and will enhance provision of excellent medicare to personnel and their dependants, as well as civilian beneficiaries at the lowest possible cost.
He further stated that the Anniversary celebration with the theme, “Enhancing Nigerian Air Force Airpower Capabilities for Effective Joint Operations in Response to contemporary National Security Challenges”, aims at emphasizing the renewed focus on cooperation and collaboration among the Services in military operations.
He pointed out that it is in tandem with the Chief of the Air Staff’s (CAS) vision which is to “enhance and sustain critical airpower capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of national security imperatives”.
While noting that the events will be low-key due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, he said it will be structured to enlighten Nigerians of the Nigerian Air Force’s efforts in the fight against insurgency, terrorism and armed banditry in the country, adding that it will feature only three main activities which are; a seminar, induction of a new platform as well aerial display by L-39ZA, A-Jet and JF-17 thunder aircraft.
Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar informed news men that the Nigerian Air Force has become a major stakeholder in the sub-region. In his words , “You will agree with me that the Nigerian Air Force has grown over the years into a formidable force within the West African sub-region and it is only rational to celebrate its existence as well as the laudable achievements recorded over the years.”
He further said, “There will be a series of pre-event activities taking place simultaneously at NAF units across the country. These pre-events include; Juma’at service later today, Church Service on Sunday, 16th May. There will also be Medical outreaches to host communities of the various NAF Bases, and humanitarian support activities by the Nigerian Air Force Officers Wives Association (NAFOWA) across the 6 geo-political zones of the country”,
As part of activities marking the anniversary, he stated that a seminar has been scheduled for Wednesday 19th of May, which will provide opportunity for seasoned experts to present papers on standardization of training and interoperability of equipment in the Armed forces of Nigeria. The focus of the seminar, he explained, is to proffer workable strategies aimed at checkmating the myriad of security challenges in the country.