At a breakfast meeting with online media editors during the weekend in Abuja, The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, declared.
He said: “I want to say that we have been enjoying support from other countries. (Sometimes arm procurement) is shrouded in a lot of politics. Unfortunately, I’m not a politician, so I cannot be able to say much on that.
But what I can tell you is that right now as I speak to you, we are expecting the Pakistani Chief of Air Staff in Nigeria soon. Pakistan has accepted to sell ten trainer airplanes. And that is why the Pakistan Chief of Air Staff is coming for the induction ceremony which is going to take place in Kaduna.
“We are really getting support from many countries. Similarly, we have trained so many people in Pakistan, China. In the US, we have pilots that are training right now. We have other pilots that have just finished training from the United Kingdom. We have additional pilots that are training in South Africa. We have more pilots that are training in the Egyptian Air Force and so many other places including Russia. We are really getting support.”
The Chief of Air Staff on the Nigerian fighter pilots said: “In the last 18 months, we have flown almost 3000 hours with no incident. In terms of competence I can tell you that the Nigerian Air Force pilots are amongst the most competent. Because the training curriculum is very clear.
And that is why now in the Air Force you look at the wings, pilots wear wings. We have categorized the wings according to their skill levels. We also organize simulation training for our pilots; we organize evaluation visits where pilots are evaluated without any notice. We have also sent over 700 personnel of the NAF to different parts of the world to train and acquire the skills required for them to be effective.”
Currently, the Air force through strategy operations, interdictions strategy and soft-core strategy is helping the Nigeria Army as well as Navy both in the North and South to counter criminal, militants and terrorist activities.
However, the crash of an aircraft, described as Agusta AW 101, a medium-lift helicopter for military operations which took place in the Nigeria Air force base makudi, have been confirmed to be true.
It is said that the crash incident happened as at exactly two months after President Muhammadu Buhari handed over a number of ballistic missile defense capable aircrafts to the Nigeria air force from the presidential fleet.