The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on Saturday, 8 February 2020, commissioned some infrastructure projects at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base, Kaduna.
The commissioned projects include the rehabilitated water storage and supply system, which was expanded from 600,000 to 1.2 million litres of potable water capacity per day as well as a newly renovated block of 12 x 2-bedroom Married Officers’ Quarters.
While at NAF Base Kaduna, the CAS also inspected some ongoing projects including the remodeling/reconstruction of 2 blocks of 30 x 2-bedroom accommodation for Senior Non-Commissioned Officers as well as a 250-capacity girls’ hostel at the Air Force Comprehensive Secondary School Kaduna.
Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, the CAS stated that, in his desire to reposition the NAF into a highly professional and disciplined fighting force for the effective, efficient and timely employment of air power, he had taken bold steps to ensure the Service has the right organizational structure, right equipment holding, right human capacity as well as the right welfare incentives to ensure personnel are properly motivated for effective service delivery.
In terms of having the right equipment holding, the CAS disclosed that, with the support of the Federal Government, the NAF had acquired 22 brand new aircraft since 2015, including the 2 Agusta 109 Power and one Mi-171E Combat Helicopters inducted into the Service by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, 6 February 2020.
Added to these, he said, the NAF was also expecting 16 more aircraft that had been paid for and would be delivered soon. These included 12 Super Tucano Multirole Attack Aircraft from the United States of America, 3 JF-17 Thunder Fighter Aircraft from Pakistan and an additional Mi-171E Combat Helicopter from Serbia.
Meanwhile, he disclosed that the NAF had also reactivated over 20 erstwhile unserviceable aircraft, thereby raising its aircraft serviceability rate from an abysmal 35 percent in 2015 to a current average of between 78 and 89 percent.
While expressing satisfaction with the quality of the projects, especially the remodeled block of 12 x 2-bedroom Married Officers’ Quarters which was executed through direct labour by the NAF Works Centre, the CAS directed the immediate commencement of renovation work on the 2 adjacent blocks.