By Helen Udoh-Abuja.
The Honourable Minister of Defence (HMOD), Major General Bashir Magashi (retired) has lauded the significant and crucial roles played by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in the ongoing counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism operations in the Country. Major Magashi stated this today at the graduation ceremony of participants of Air War Course 8/2022 of the Air War College, Makurdi. He commended the efforts of the NAF at constantly repositioning itself with strong focus on human capital development to strengthen its operational effectiveness.
The HMOD also noted that as a decisive and indispensable aspect of the physical components of combat power, air power has remained a formidable instrument in the preservation of Nation’s territorial integrity. “Apart from the efforts of the Nigerian Air Force towards enhancing internal security in the Country, the Service has also attracted tremendous goodwill and credibility to the country over the years through the provision of airlift and humanitarian supports for the United Nations, African Union and friendly African countries”, he said.
Speaking further, Major General Magashi (retired) noted that the contribution of Air War College to human capacity development in the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) is better viewed through the prism of current successes recorded by the Military in various theatres of operations across the Country. He said while asymmetric threats from non-state armed actors seem to be abating in the country, there is a global increase in such threats, thereby creating a significantly more complex strategic environment at global, regional and national levels.
The dynamic nature of the threats he noted, underscores the need for innovative and proactive methods in tackling them. “There is no doubt that the Air Force War College has rapidly evolved over time and is now an established citadel of learning for transiting tactical level officers into operational level staff and commanders. The effectiveness of this transition is critical to effectively containing the myriads of emerging security challenges confronting Nigeria today, including terrorism, insurgencies, kidnapping amongst others”.
The HMOD commended the innovative steps taken by the Federal Government in the last few years to revitalize the AFN for the full restoration of the Nigeria’s territorial integrity. He lauded the NAF for placing premium on critical thinking as well as scenario planning and analysis in addition to other pragmatic frameworks for military decision making processes in the curriculum of the Air Force War College. This, he noted would enhance the probability of success of operational plans as well as develop the NAF culture of proactive planning and management of operations, particularly in a joint environment to ensuring national security. While congratulating the graduands for successfully completing the 9 months training, the HMOD reiterated the Administration’s continued support to the AFN and all security agencies. He charged the graduands to inject fresh ideas into the Nation’s security system by bringing to bear the skills, knowledge and attitude they have acquired to proffer creative solutions to the myriad of security challenges confronting the country.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commandant of the College, Air Vice Marshal Sayo Olatunde disclosed that it was the first time the College would have civilian and allied participants undergo the Air War Course since its establishment in 2016. He further stated that prior to the commencement of the course, a rigorous review of the curriculum was undertaken to make it more responsive to the national security challenges. The Commandant stated that high premium was placed on tutorials, workshops, seminars and practical exercises in the instructional and delivery strategy. He attributed the success story of the College to the CAS, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao for his unwavering commitment.
For the first time, the Air War College graduated an allied participant from Cameroun and a civilian staff from the National Defence College. They were among the 17 participants who graduated today.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force
11 November 2022