- The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Liberia has paid off
- This is as two Liberians were among the 14 officers winged on Monday at the Nigerian Air Force Headquarters
- The winged officers were charged to work diligently by learning the rudiments of their profession
Flight Lieutenants Varney Sirleaf and Jerreck Dwanah from Liberia were among the 14 officers winged on Monday, April 16, at the Nigerian Air Force Headquarters.
The officers completed their training from the International Aviation College, Ilorin and Afrika Aviation Union Academy, South Africa.
They were decorated with their pilot wings by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Nuratu Batagarawa and Liberia's minister of national defence, Major-General Daniel Ziankaln (Jnr).
Speaking at the event, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Air Force to counter the numerous security challenges in the country through training and retraining of personnel.
He tasked the newly winged officers to be mentally prepared and work diligently by learning the rudiments of their profession.
His words: “The Nigerian Air Force in the last 3 years or thereabout have continued to project air power both within and outside Nigeria. To achieve this, we have embarked on human capacity development to re-position the Nigerian Air Force to adequately deal with these challenges.
“The service has continued to discharge its mandate as provided in the constitution of the Federal Republic, professionally and diligently. We are presently engaged with other security agencies in the northeast to deal with the Boko Haram Terrorists threat to our national security. Our forces are equally in the northwest, south-south and north-central regions of the country.
“The accomplishments of our pilots and other personnel, who are undertaking daring missions in the face of real danger, are testimonies to the quality of training they have received. Despite the successes we have recorded so far in all these multiple engagements, we are fully aware of the need to train and retrain personnel, including pilots required to deal with these challenges.
“Accordingly, we are not resting on our oars but constantly building the required capacity to optimally project air power in these theatres in fulfilment of our national security imperatives.”
On his part, the Chief of Training and Operations, Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal NB Bali, said there are 4 Nigerian Air Force student pilots undergoing training with the United States Air Force and one of them is the first female potential fighter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force.
He also informed his audience that there is currently a NAF student pilot with the Royal Moroccan Air Force and 4 student instructor pilots training at the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
Here in Nigeria, Legit.ng gathered that there are 64 student pilots at various stages of flying training in Nigerian Air Force Flying Training Schools and they are all expected to graduate by the end of this year.
On his part, Liberia's minister of national defence, Major-General Daniel Ziankaln (Jnr), thanked the Nigerian Air Force and the Federal Government for the longstanding relationship between Liberia and Nigeria.
He noted that Nigeria sacrificed a lot for the peace Liberia currently enjoys during its war torn years.
“I am a beneficiary of the experience learnt from Nigerian senior officers posted in Liberia. Thank you for all the support offered to the Liberian military. We remain indebted to the Nigerian people,” he said.
Earlier this year, 11 young officers were on Wednesday, January 17, winged by the NAF.
The officers successfully qualified at 401 Flying Training School in Kaduna in November 2016 and were later sent to Westline Aviation School where they commenced their course from January 16, 2017 to December 16, 2017.
Nigerian Air Force winged 10 flying officers - on Legit.ng TV