Insurgency: NAF trains 208 special forces in Bauchi

The Nigerian Air Force has trained an additional 208 special forces personnel in its bid to boost the capacity of officers and airmen to combat terrorism, banditry and other forms of criminality across the country.

The 208 personnel, including 10 policemen, 162 special forces and 46 helicopter back door gunners, were trained at the Regiment Training Centre Annex, Bauchi.

In his remarks at the combined graduation ceremony in Bauchi on Friday, the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd), commended the Nigerian Air Force for its deliberate policy of building the capacity of its personnel to meet modern security challenges.

Magashi said, “These challenges are occasioned by the upsurge in violent crimes such as banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling, among others, across the country, which requires the intervention of the armed forces in addition to its constitutional role of protecting the territorial integrity of the nation.

“However, countering these threats requires a different approach, including the use of special operation forces, which are beyond traditional warfare tactics.”

He noted that the graduation of the special forces showed that the Nigerian Air Force was adopting pragmatic steps towards conserving scarce foreign resources by looking inwards to train its personnel locally.

Earlier, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, explained that the combined graduation ceremony of the special forces Course 5/2019 and the helicopter back door gunners Course 5/2019, marked a milestone in the air force in its efforts at combating crime in the country.

He said, “On my assumption of office and realising our capability gap in special forces’ operations, the Nigerian Air Force through a deliberate policy of force protection, expanded the regiment speciality and began to build capacity in special forces’ training.

“We went further to establish quick response units across Nigeria for rapid response and deployment of air assets during crises. I am satisfied that the graduation we are witnessing today is the result of that policy.”
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