- There Nigerian Air Force (NAF) 54th anniversary wass filled with so many firsts
- The anniversary witnessed the a first ever historical photo gallery of the NAF
- Photos displayed showed the gradual development of the NAF from its inception to date
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Friday, May 4, displayed a historical photo gallery display at the NAF Base Kaduna as part of activities marking the 2018 NAF day celebrations, which is also the 54th anniversary of the Service.
According to a statement by the NAF spokesman, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, the NAF historical photo gallery was aimed at depicting a progression of the evolvement of the NAF from infancy to a formidable Air Force capable of projecting air power not only in Nigeria but also beyond the shores of the country.
In addition, a static display of aircraft weaponry as well as NAF Research and Development efforts was held to show how the NAF has continued to find innovative solutions to some of its technological challenges in the past few years.
Speaking during the historical photo gallery display, the guest of honour, the minister of interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), who was represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Dr Bello Umar, lauded the NAF for initiating the historic photo gallery, noting that it would serve as a source of inspiration to young Nigerians.
“The gallery would also serve as a reminder of the enormous sacrifices of those who have gone before us and inspire those serving and intending to serve the nation to greater heights,” he added.
Dr Umar also stated that the NAF had greatly evolved for the past 5 decades and had become a model for other Air Forces in Africa. He therefore congratulated the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for his innovative leadership and efforts in Research and Development, which had helped to position the NAF into a highly efficient Air Force in Africa.
Earlier in his welcome address, the CAS pointed out that the historical photo gallery became necessary to showcase the gallantry of NAF pilots and other personnel and also depict the huge transformation the NAF had undergone in the last 54 years.
He equally noted that the Service had taken part in several operations in defence of Nigeria's territorial integrity. The CAS recalled with nostalgia how the NAF, barely 2 years after its establishment meritoriously participated in the Nigerian Civil War.
The CAS also enumerated how the NAF had participated effectively in troops airlift, logistics resupply, medical evacuation, close air support and interdiction missions during several operations since then, in support of Nigeria’s aspirations.
“This historic photo gallery is therefore intended to remind Nus of how far we have come, appreciate the contributions of our heroes past and challenge us to continue to press forward and give our best to the nation and to the Service,” he said.
Later in the day, the NAF signed and renewed of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and between the Service and 20 tertiary institutions, in line with the current NAF leadership efforts at making the Service more self-reliant.
In his address, the Chief of Standards and Evaluation, AVM Kingsley Lar reiterated the commitment of the NAF towards finding solutions to most of its technological challenges by continuing with the strategic partnership with relevant Ministries Departments and Agencies of government.
He thanked the institutions for their continuous support, which had brought about various innovations and solutions to many of the NAF’s technical challenges.
In their goodwill messages, Vice Chancellors and representatives of the various tertiary institutions lauded the efforts of the current NAF leadership at bridging the gap between “the gown and the town,” noting that it had gone a long way in optimizing the abundant talents in Nigeria’s academic institutions with attendant huge cost savings for the nation.
Awards were later presented by the CAS to deserving institutions at a gala night later in the evening.
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