The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has reaffirmed its commitment to continue to protect the nation’s territorial integrity against any form of threat.
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, made this known in his remarks at the Inter-denominational Church Service as part of the activities to mark the service’s 57th Anniversary Celebration at the Protestant Church, NAF Base, on Sunday in Abuja.
Amao expressed gratitude to God for His mercies which have continued to keep NAF as the pride of the nation over the past 57 years since its establishment as one of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“I can say without any contradiction that God has been good and faithful to the service.
“It has been able to surmount any challenges, in its progress towards maturity whilst growing in size, spread and equipment holding to fulfill its constitutional role.
“It is very heartening to note that from having only a few trainer and transport aircraft in its early years of establishment, NAF currently has a sizeable order of battle arsenals, comprising multiple aircraft types with capabilities to perform a wide spectrum of missions.
“We have also continued to build upon the foundations laid by our noble predecessors by re-activating several aircraft that were hitherto grounded, while also acquiring and inducting new platforms into the service as well as increasing the strength of personnel to meet national security imperatives.“
According to the CAS, all these efforts were geared towards having a professional service capable of deploying effective and efficient airpower in the protection of the nation’s territorial integrity against any form threat internally or externally.
Amao, however, cautioned that while the service is celebrating these achievements, a lot needs to be done to ensure the security of the country and its citizens at this trying time.
“Anniversaries such as this, therefore, affords us yet another opportunity to reflect, take stock and chat new ways of moving the service forward.
“Therefore, in line with this, we chose the theme of the celebration as `Enhancing Nigeria Air Force Airpower Capabilities for Effective Joint Operations’.
“This is to enable us focus more critically on how the service can be more effective and efficient in joint operations to speedily bring to an end the security challenges in the various troubled sports across the country, especially in the North-East, North-West and North-Central,“ he said.
The CAS, however, re-assured the country of the service’s undaunting commitment and determination to ensure a secured, united and prosperous nation.
“Yes, it is achievable working in concert with sister agencies and other security outfits,“Amao added.
He noted that the service had done particularly well over the past few years as evident in the number of new platforms it acquired, such as JF-17 Thunder and A-29 Super Tucano aircraft among other laudable achievements.
Amao noted further that such a feat would not have been possible without the total support of President Muhammadu Buhari, and members of the Executive Management Team, the Minister of Defence, and National Assembly.
“I urge you to keep all hopes alive and continue to pray for the peace, stability and development of the country and its leaders.
“I also enjoin you to remain faithful, committed and dedicated to your duties in our various places of assignment. That way, we can see the desired progress in every facet of the service to nation,“
Earlier, the Director of Chaplaincy, Roman Catholic Church, NAF Headquarters, Rev. Father, Philip Kwasau, prayed that God almighty continue to guide, protect, and direct the service in its quest to protect the country against any form of threat.
Kwasau noted that the service had made a name in so many areas of human endeavour, especially in the ongoing fight against the insurgents and other security threats across the country.
He reminded the personnel that it was not the number of the aircraft, the type of the aircraft or how well they were trained, but their protection from the almighty God that mattered.
He urged them to be very prayerful as they go about carrying out their core mandate of protecting the country’s territorial integrity against any perceived threat to its existence.
“What is also important is self sacrifice, with self sacrifice, whatever we aspire to acquire will surely come to pass. There is nothing God cannot do, that is why He is the omnipotent.
“I have no doubt that through sacrifice, the country will overcome the present challenges and become great again as an indivisible corporate entity everyone can be proud of.“