Barely a month after combined graduation of Basic Flying Course and Tactical Flying Course, where 4 officers were decorated with their Basic Pilot Wings and 2 other officers awarded Limited Combat Rating certificates, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) today, 27 October 2020, winged another combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Shehu Ibrahim, after his Basic and Advanced Helicopter Flying Training at the Indian Air Force Helicopter Flying Training School, Hakimpat, India. The winging of the combat pilot is yet another milestone in the NAF’s capacity building initiative to meet emerging and contemporary security challenges in the Country.
Speaking during the winging ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, expressed delight to receive the young pilot back from India and congratulated him for his outstanding performance during the Courses. The CAS emphasized that the NAF considers the human being as its most important resource and would therefore continue to invest heavily in equipping its personnel with the requisite skills to enable them be more effective and efficient in carrying out assigned tasks. In this regard, he revealed that about 200 NAF personnel were currently undergoing training in 9 different countries of the World including the United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Pakistan, China, Czech Republic and South Africa, amongst others.
Air Marshal Abubakar expressed his gratitude to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his support to the NAF which had not only enabled the acquisition of new platforms but also facilitated robust and result-orientated training for enhanced professional performance. He reiterated the NAF’s resolve to sustain its human capacity development efforts, since the Service remains a veritable instrument for the maintenance of national security. The CAS ended his remarks by charging the young officer to put in his best as he joins his colleagues in the North East and North West Theatres to secure the Nation.
The newly-winged pilot, who is a member of the 64th Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics. He had his ab-initio flying training at 401 Flying Training School NAF Kaduna where he flew the Diamond DA-40 aircraft. He was nominated to attend Basic and Advanced Helicopter Flying Training at the Indian Air Force Helicopter Flying Training School, Hakimpet, India from 7 July 2019 to 6 October 2020. His training at the Indian Air Force comprised a total of 122 flying hours on the Chetak Helicopter.