The Nigerian Air Force has purchased a fleet of brand new helicopters to add to its ranks. It is being reported that this would be the first time that the Nigerian Air Force would be strengthening its fleet of air-crafts with brand new helicopters in eighteen years. The newly purchased air-crafts were announced as a total of seventy three pilots being trained by the Nigerian Air Force would graduate before the end of the year.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar made these disclosures during a press meet after the winging of newly trained pilots of the Nigerian Air Force at the NAF Headquarters in Abuja. Twelve Nigerian Air Force pilots were winged alongside two Liberian pilots. The fourteen pilots were trained in Kaduna and Ilorin, Kwara state.
The Chief of Air Staff said that the Nigerian Air Force has sent many of its personnel on pilot training to several countries including Morocco, Jordan and the USA. He also mentioned that the first Nigerian air force female pilot is expected to graduate from the training schools.
“Acquiring the number of platforms in the Air Force, for us to have these platforms flying, we have to train the pilots. This is the first time in about 18 years that we are acquiring 6 brand new helicopters for the Air Force. This is quite significant in the sense that at least, we are building capacity and making sure that we have the right number of qualified staff that will man these helicopters that have been acquired. Human capacity is the most important. You can have all the aircraft but if you don’t have people who are trained to fight with aircraft, you will still not get anything, “he explained.
“Now that the government is acquiring more platforms for us, we already have pilots. This is the second that we are winging pilots this year and this shows that we are thinking ahead of what the government is providing for us and I think it is really impacting positively,”