The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Thursday commissioned officer cadets of Direct Short Service Commission (DSSC) Course 27/2017 into service, following the completion of their training at the NAF Military Training Centre (MTC), Kaduna. A total of 195 cadets, including 16 females, were commissioned, out of the 198 who reported for training, as others could not graduate due to the high standards of the training.
The six-month training introduced the cadets to military regimentation as well as NAF operations and administration, covering subjects such as Drill, Weapon Training, and Airpower in addition to Officership, Leadership and Command.
One of the highlights of the occasion was a colourful Passing Out Parade during which the cadets marched in slow and quick times. The Honourable Minister of Defence (HMOD), Alhaji Muhammed Mansur Dan-Ali, was the Reviewing Officer at the parade.
In his remarks after the parade, the HMOD congratulated the passing out cadets for successfully completing the rigorous training. He stated that the NAF has been at the forefront of efforts to provide security in the country. He, therefore, urged the graduating cadets to be prepared to join the efforts in battling the various security challenges confronting the country.
The Reviewing Officer reminded the cadets that they are subject to both military and civil laws and must thus subordinate themselves to civil authority and protect our growing democracy. In addition, the HMOD advised the cadets not to allow themselves to be used by some elements in the society to compromise national security or to act in a way capable of denting the good image of the Armed Forces. He then reminded of their duty to protect all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic background or religious inclination.
Alhaji Dan-Ali expressed profound gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, who has continued to give priority attention to the operational requirements of the Armed Forces and to the welfare of personnel despite limited resources. He therefore reiterated the unalloyed loyalty of members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to Mr President, as mandated by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He also commended the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for providing the right leadership, which has enabled the utilisation of minimum resources to achieve maximum results, citing the recent launching of the country’s first indigenous operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, named Tsaigumi.
During the ceremony, graduating cadets who distinguished themselves in the course of training were presented with various awards.
The award recipients were Cadets MG Saleh, SS Yikwe and IO Alum, who won the President’s Award, Minister of Defence Award and Chief of Defence Staff Award for coming first, second and third in order of merit respectively. Cadet JO Olayinka also received the Chief of the Air Staff Award for demonstrating exceptional skills in field exercises.
The HMOD later conferred the Presidential Commission on the cadets during the Pipping and Oath Taking Ceremony. While 5 medical consultants were commissioned as Squadron Leaders, the others were commissioned as Flying Officers. The representatives of the Executive Governor of Kaduna State as well as those of the Chief of Defence Staff and other Service Chiefs also graced the occasion.
In addition, senior military officers, both serving and retired, as well as top government functionaries and the relatives of the newly commissioned officers were also in attendance.
Commenting on the development, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, said: “Since the inception of the current administration in 2015, 3 sets of DSSC officers have been commissioned.
“The intensified enlistment of more officers into the NAF is part of the capacity building efforts of the current NAF leadership towards further positioning the NAF to meet the nation’s security imperatives.”