By Idris Ayinde
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar has called on the newly graduated officers of the Special Forces of the Nigerian Air Force to respect and protect the members of their host communities.
Abubakar, who was represented by Air Vice Marshal Usman Abdullahi, Air Officer Commanding, Ground Training Command, Headquarters, made the call in Bauchi on Friday during the graduation ceremony of 135 students of the Special Forces Course 11/2023.
According to him, from the high quality of tactical display by the graduating students, there was no doubt that they had imbibed the basic skills and techniques required to conduct special operations in achieving the operational objectives of the Nigerian Air Force.
He explained that the successes of the Nigerian Air Force in shaping the battlespace and neutralising adversary capabilities had resulted in degrading the operational capacity of bandits, insurgents and other criminal elements in different operational theatres.
“To the graduating students of Special Forces Course 11/2023, I am aware of the rigours of your training on the ground, and in the air and that’s why you have been decorated with your Special Forces emblem. I say well done.
“I therefore urge you to exhibit what you have learnt during the course whenever and wherever duty calls.
“This call will require you to exhibit courage, commitment and loyalty in the discharge of your duties.
“Once deployed, you are implored to treat your host communities with utmost respect as your task is to protect them from hostile threats,” he said.
Abubakar also appreciated President Bola Tinubu for his continuous support to the Nigerian Air Force despite the harsh economic realities and promised to continue to employ the available resources for the betterment of the country’s service.
Earlier, Aminu Bello, the Commanding Officer, of Regiment Training Centre Annex, Nigerian Air Force, Bauchi, said a total of 308 Nigerian Air Force personnel of the Regiment Specialty were nominated to undergo Medical and Physical screening for the 93 days Special Forces Course.
He explained that out of the number, only 294 reported and 148 trainees scaled through the medical and physical screening tests.
According to him, these successful personnel commenced the training in September but at the end of the course, a total of 135 comprising five officers and 130 airmen completed the course.
“Trainees embarked on 10, 15 and 20 km loaded marches respectively to improve their endurance, even in rugged terrains.
“Several day and night live firing exercises were conducted to ensure that trainees were able to acquire and neutralise targets instinctively at short, medium and long distances.
“About 80% of these trainees came with no idea of swimming but at the end of the swimming phase, all of them graduated from basic to intermediate swimmers,” he said.
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