NAF to showcase capabilities at 60th anniversary

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), has announced its preparedness to showcase its capabilities through research and development efforts as part of activities to celebrate its 60 years of existence.

The Chairman, Organising Committee for NAF 60th Anniversary Celebration, AVM Michael Ekwueme, made this known while briefing newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ekwueme said the 60th anniversary was not only a time for celebration but also a moment for deep reflection on the accomplishments and challenges of NAF, as well as charting the way forward.

He said that the NAF had overcome numerous obstacles, adapted to evolving threats and subsequently emerged stronger and more resilient throughout its rich history.

According to him, there is no doubt that the service has grown over the years into a formidable and respected force within the African continent and beyond.

‘The NAF has continued to fulfil its mandate of securing the territorial integrity of our dear nation through effective application of air power.

‘NAF has made
appreciable progress and significant contributions in the areas of internal security, humanitarian assistance, peace-keeping operations and restoration and sustenance of democracy in Africa.

‘The service has also made giant strides in the area of Research and Development.

‘It is only rational therefore, to celebrate its existence as well as the laudable achievements of the past six decades’.

Ekwueme disclosed that the theme of the celebration would be ‘Nigerian Air Force at 60: Leveraging Strategic Partnerships in Aerospace Innovations for Regional Security’.

He explained that the theme was in line with one of the key enablers of the Chief of the Air Staff’s Command Philosophy which is prioritising research and development, leveraging cutting-edge technology and strategic partnerships.

He noted that this year’s theme was aimed at building on partnerships to address contemporary security challenges not only in the country, but across the African region.

He outlined some of the activities lined up to incl
ude medical outreaches to various host communities.

According to him, there will be Juma’at prayers on May 17, interdenominational Church service on May 19 and outreach by the NAF Officers’ Wives Association (NAFOWA) in Abuja.

He also said that due to the emphasis on R and D in the NAF, there would be an Inter-Command Research and Development Competition on May18 in Abuja.

‘You will witness innovative solutions and projects undertaken and supported by the NAF leadership led by Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar.

‘The Third African Air Forces Forum, Conference, and Exhibition will take place from May 23 to 24 in Abuja where we are expecting more than 2,000 participants.

‘More than 30 air forces and 10 chiefs of air staff, 40 exhibitors including major defence and aerospace players such as Airbus, Embraer, Diamond Aircraft, HAVELSAN, and Jet Aviation are expected,” he said.

Ekwueme said the Defence Industries Cooperation of Nigeria (DICON) would lead the nation’s military industrial complex to showcase local cap

He added that the highpoint of the celebration would feature a ceremonial parade, aerial display and flying out of retired senior officers of 37 and 38 Regular Courses on May 25.

According to him, President Bola Tinubu is expected to be the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion.

He further said that the leadership of the NAF had decided to adopt a Public Private Partnership model to organise and fund the event in consideration of the prevailing economic challenges.

He also said that the NAF had also secured sponsorships from some state governments and organisations.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria