By Augustine Ehikioya
Harping on the task ahead of them, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar has reminded Nigerian Air Force (NAF) personnel of the huge responsibility placed on members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria by all Nigerians in ensuring their safety and wellbeing.
He made the remark on Wednesday while meeting with key appointment holders, commanders, commandants and air component commanders of the NAF.
According to a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore, Edward Gabkwet, and made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA), the Air Chief said “So much is expected of us by the Nigerian people in ensuring we clear all areas of criminals and their tendencies. Therefore, we cannot afford to let Nigerians down.”
He also called on them to use the period of the meeting to evolve strategies to improve NAF operations as well as enhance its logistics support systems and maintenance practices, while ensuring the serviceability of air assets for optimal employment of airpower capabilities in joint operations.
Air Marshal Abubakar said that the NAF has started taking delivery of additional air assets purchased by the Federal Government as only recently, it received the 2 remaining Diamond-62 Multi-Purpose Platform at a ceremony held in Ilorin, Kwara State.
He went on to state that the NAF will, in no distant time, be inducting other new platforms acquired for the Service.
When inducted, the CAS noted, these additional aircraft would surely add considerable impetus to NAF operations in dealing with insurgents, terrorists and other criminal elements plaguing Nigeria.
He then placed on record his sincere appreciation to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, for his continued support in attending to the operational, training and welfare needs of the Service.
He also assured the President and indeed all Nigerians of NAF’s “unwavering commitment to continually work wholeheartedly, in concert with other security agencies, towards achieving the mandate of ensuring a safe, secured, united and prosperous Nation.”
Speaking earlier, the Chief of Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal Sayo Olatunde, reminded the senior officers of the need for them to continue to see themselves not just as commanders or commandants but also leaders, managers and mentors to their subordinates.
He said “Command confers on you the authority and responsibility to effectively utilize available resources and to plan, organize, direct, coordinate and control your forces for the accomplishment of assigned tasks.
“It also means you are responsible for health, welfare, morale and discipline of your personnel.”
He went on to remind them of the need to continue influencing their personnel by providing purpose, direction and motivation with a view to accomplishing the assigned mission and improving the Service.
He also urged them to approach the meeting with a critical thinking mind and readiness to unlearn whatever they had learnt in the past to enable them take in new ideas that would enhance their capacity in command responsibility.
The 2-day meeting will entail lectures on unit administration, command responsibilities, CAS command philosophy and a review of ongoing counterinsurgency and counter terrorism operations.