The Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, has urged the 17 graduating participants of the Air Force War College course 6, Makurdi, to apply the skills they acquired during the training in dealing with the new wave of insecurities in the country.
Gen. Magashi made the call at the graduation ceremony of the participants at the college premises in Makurdi on Friday.
Reports say, about 17 participants, 14 were from the Airforce, one from the Army and two from the Navy.
The minister, who was represented by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen.Gabriel Olonisakin, said the country was experiencing different forms of internal security challenges which ranged from terrorism, kidnapping, cattle rustling, banditry and other criminalities that needed to be tackled.
He commended the armed forces for rising to the challenges of emerging criminalities, which he said were a major test on the country’s security architecture.
He said the newly-acquired skills of the participants meant to transform them from tactical level officers to operational commanders, would be of immense benefits to the Airforce and the country, especially in tackling insecurity in the country.
” This transition aptly fits into the needed security architecture of our country in the wake of security challenges,” Magashi said.
He said the use of airpower ” being an important component of our military instrument of national power has remained a formidable force in the preservation of the nation’s territorial integrity.
He also charged them to be loyal and exhibit discipline in the discharge of their duties, which he said was the hallmark of their profession
He, therefore, commended the Airforce for seizing the opportunity to create an avenue for operational and strategic level thinking at the Air Force War College.
” As the air arm of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, the Nigerian Air Force has been playing significant and crucial roles in the ongoing counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations, where air force officers, airmen and airwomen have performed gallantly.
“I am particularly proud of the innovative steps that the Nigerian Air Force has taken within the last few years, as it strives to revitalise and boost its capacity to fulfill its mandate to defend Nigeria’s territorial integrity,” he said.
Earlier in a welcome speech, the Commandant, NAF War College, AVM D.Ladan, said the war college was the apex military training institute in the Airforce, which he described as ” the centre of excellence for professional military training at the operational level in the country.”
Ladan said the college, which was established in 2016, had graduated the sixth set of participants, whom he said, were doing well in their operational fields.
He said the graduating participants, who were grilled for 29 weeks at the college, had paid a study tour of two African countries- the republic of Cameroon and the republic of Niger.
He commended the Chief of Air Staff (CAS),Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for supporting the college through thick and thin, explaining that the course commenced at the peak of the COVID-19, yet, through the assistance of the air chief, they navigated through the challenges to graduate the set.
Gov. Samuel Ortom, represented by his deputy, Benson Abounu, commended the CAS for working hard to uplift the Airforce to a world class military organisation and urged him to keep up the good work for his country.
Reports say, that the high point of the event was the presentation of certificates and induction of participants as Fellows of the War College by the Commandant.
Prizes were also given to outstanding participants of the course.