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Air Chief and reactivation of aircraft in NAF inventory

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Air Chief and reactivation of aircraft in NAF inventory

The 407 Air Combat Training Group (407 ACTG) Kainji played host to Chief of the Air Staff and his entourage who visited the formation to assess progress of work in the ongoing in-country reactivation of aircraft.

It was the Christian sacred scripture that observed that whatever a man sows that he shall reap. The popular Latin aphorism posits that “No one can give what he does not have”. Also agreeing with the foregoing dictum and ecclesiastic truth is the popular digital axiom that posits that computer operation is “garbage in garbage out”.
Personnel management experts said that the aforesaid cannot be farther from the truth as nature, they hypothesize is excellent in throwing back at you whatever you give to her, hence the maxim ‘those who invest bountifully reaps bountiful dividend while those that invest sparingly in similar fashion reaps sparingly’.

It was therefore, the understanding of these workings of nature that compelled Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar on assumption of office in 2015 embarked on massive investment in human capital development of personnel of the Service to scale up their skills and capacities in all area of speciality in the force.

This according to sources close to the Air Chief was done to reposition Nigerian Air Force to tackle the emerging security challenges in the country, especially the Boko Haram insurgency in Northeast and banditry in Northwest.

However, before now, the service use to spend several thousand dollars in maintenance and reactivation of platforms due to lack of capacity within the country, a debilitating scenario that the incumbent leadership desires to reverse.

It is nonetheless instructive to note that today, personnel of NAF are maintaining and reactivating platform in NAF inventory that had had not been in use for a very long period, owing to the prioritization of capacity building by the reigning Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

While, Nigeria is saving millions of naira through the in-country reactivation by using local technicians and air craft Engineers, the capacity of the force to properly deploy air power in the ongoing counter insurgency operations is greatly enhanced as more and more platforms are added to the functional ones.

However, while the country waits for the day that Nigeria will conceptualize, design and manufacture different kinds of fighter jets in the country, their capacity to maintain and reactivate aircraft of any kind is something to celebrate.

Giving insight into the ongoing in-country reactivation of aircraft in some NAF formations across the country with particular emphasis on 407 Air Combat Training Group (407 ACTG) Kainji, the Director of Public Relation and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola in a statement gave detail, as well as reason for the Air Chief’s inspection visit to Kainji.

He said, “The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, this week undertook an inspection visit to 407 Air Combat Training Group (407 ACTG) Kainji to assess progress of the ongoing in-country Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) on 3 Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet aircraft”.

Daramola explained that the Chief of Air Staff, who was accompanied by other senior officers from NAF Headquarters (HQ), was received on arrival in Kainji by the Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command (AOC ATC), Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Suleiman, and briefed on the progress of work by the Commanding Officer 16 Logistics Wing (CO 16 Log Wg), 407 ACTG, Wing Commander Agyo Haruna.

Haruna told the entourage that the team of expatriate and NAF engineers and technicians, working jointly, had so far stripped some of the major component parts of the aircraft and were working to get the job done on schedule.

Interestingly, the Chief of Air Staff also inspected ongoing work on the Engine Bay, Aircraft Electrical and Instruments Engineering Workshop as well as the Offices of Hangar Chief and Engine Dock Chief, among others, which were being renovated and upgraded with modern test equipment and new furniture to improve the maintenance capacity of the Wing.

While in Kainji, the Chief of Air Staff also inspected the construction work on a block of 18 units of 2-bedroom for married Senior Non Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) Accommodation, as well as other facilities in the Base.

In his remarks after the inspection tour, the Chief of Air Staff expressed satisfaction with the progress of work on the PDM and also commended the Commander 407 ACTG, Squadron Leader Kingsley Igwegbe, and CO Eng Wg for their hard work, commitment and dedication in ensuring steady progress of the job.

He emphasized that, apart from hastening the overall timeframe of the maintenance job, the in-country PDM, would allow the NAF engineers and technicians involved in the project to build their capacity to enable them ultimately carry out major aspects of such high level maintenance activities on their own in the future.

The Chief of Air Staff therefore, urged the personnel to make maximum use of the opportunity to enhance NAF’s self-reliance.

Air Marshal Abubakar added that completion of the in-country PDM would boost the NAF’s Air Power employment capability by increasing the number of Alpha Jet aircraft available for combat operations in the various Theatres of Conflict.

He further explained that HQ NAF, on its part, would continue to do its utmost, to improve the welfare of personnel, saying “The human being is the most critical factor to the effective and efficient performance of any organization”.

The Air Chief however, promised to continue to place premium on addressing the welfare needs of personnel”.

It is on this premise that writer concludes with the thoughts of a lecturer, scholar and researcher, Awolumate Samuel who made the foregoing postulation on capacity building, saying “To succeed in life, you must build the capacity to go through failure and the resistance from allowing that failure go through you.”

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Apart from hastening the overall timeframe of the maintenance job, the in-country Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM), would allow the NAF engineers and technicians involved in the project to build their capacity to enable them ultimately carry out major aspects of such high level maintenance activities on their own in the future.

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