The Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, has asked the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to increase the impetus for air tactical support for ground troops to rid Nigeria of all forms of insurgency and terrorism.
He made the call on Friday at the sixth Graduation Ceremony of participants of the Air Force War College (AFWC) Course 6/2020 held at NAF Base Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
Magashi, who was represented by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin, placed a demand for excellence and professionalism on the shoulders of the officers in the discharge of their constitutional mandate.
According to him, the changing nature of warfare poses new challenges to security forces as sub-conventional threats are on the rise, creating a significantly more complex strategic environment, both at the global and regional levels.
“The nature of these challenges makes it necessary to be innovative and explore contemporary ways and means to tackle them.
“Invariably, doctrinal development, force structure, planning and equipment provisioning for asymmetric warfare have become much more challenging problems than what is obtainable in a conventional war,” the minister stated.
Noting that the Air Force War College is the apex military training institution in the Force, he said it has done credibly well since its establishment in September 2016.
Magashi asserted that airpower, being a critical component of the nation’s military instrument of national power, has remained a formidable tool in the preservation of Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
“Aside from the efforts of the NAF towards enhancing internal security in the country, the Service has also attracted tremendous goodwill and credibility to the nation through the provision of airlift and humanitarian support for the African Union, United Nations, and friendly African countries,” he said.
The minister congratulated the graduands for completing their training, saying they have shown courage and determination to be able to achieve the feat.
He was delighted that the NAF had seized the opportunity to create an avenue for operational and strategic level thinking at the AFWC.
“As the air arm of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, the NAF has been playing significant and crucial roles in the ongoing counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations, where air force officers, airmen, and airwomen have performed gallantly.
“I am particularly proud of the innovative steps that the NAF has taken within the last few years, as it strives to revitalise and boost its capacity to fulfill its mandate to defend Nigeria’s territorial integrity,” Magashi said.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the needed support and encouragement to the Armed Forces of Nigeria, in furtherance of the nation’s constitutional roles.
The minister also commended the Commandant, faculty, and administrative staff of the AFWC for their dedication and tireless efforts towards the training of the graduands.