NAF, NCC Partner to Technologically Tackle Emerging Threats
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has disclosed that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) would continue to strengthen its existing strategic partnership with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in order to contain emerging 21st Century security challenges as well as to further develop needed capacity in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). The CAS stated this yesterday, 20 September 2018, while on a courtesy visit to the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, in Abuja.
While speaking during the visit, the CAS, who was accompanied by other senior officers from NAF Headquarters, revealed that the NAF, being a highly technical Service, requires knowledgeable personnel with the right technical abilities to deal with the security challenges in the 21st century that are often complicated by rapid technological advancements.
He noted that the NAF, on its part, had continued to seek for ways to build the capacity of its personnel to effectively man its equipment, including ICT facilities that support its Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems in the various Theatres of Operation. According to him, “the NAF, in furtherance of its aggressive human capacity building initiatives, has, within the past 3 years, trained several personnel in ICT related fields in United States of America and India, apart from the many others trained locally”.
He noted, however, that there were still human capacity gaps which could be filled in partnership with NCC. Air Marshal Abubakar also informed the EVC that the NAF was in the process of establishing new air combat ranges in remote parts of Bauchi and Zamfara States and would require the assistance of the Commission to facilitate the provision of telecommunications service access to these areas.
In his remarks, the EVC/CEO NCC, Professor Danbatta, expressed delight to receive the CAS in his office and commended the Service for the important role it has been playing in the fight against insurgency and other security threats in the country.
He stated that knowledge of ICT was critical in dealing with security challenges in the 21st century, where security does not end in the 3 physical domains but also includes space and cyberspace. The EVC reiterated NCC’s commitment to continue to collaborate with the NAF to enhance its ability to deal with these emerging threats. He explained that the NCC’s training arm, which is the Digital Bridge Institute, has the mandate to develop capacity in all telecommunications fields covering Nigeria and the entire West African sub-region. He therefore suggested that a joint team, comprising officers from the NAF and DBI, be set up to work out specific areas of training needs with a view to developing tailored courses for the NAF. In response to the request for telecommunications coverage at the proposed NAF air combat ranges, Professor Danbatta stated that the Commission had already mapped out all areas across the country where network access gaps existed and would work with the NAF to fill the gaps in the requested areas.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has deployed a Team of medical experts to Zungeru in Wushishi Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State as part of humanitarian efforts geared towards alleviating the plights of the victims of the recent flood that ravaged the State. The medical outreach, which commenced today, 20 September 2018, is taking place at the Central Primary School Zungeru, where close to 1,000 flood victims now temporarily reside, and is expected to cater to the health needs of about 5,000 members of the Zungeru community.
The NAF Medical Team is led by Group Captain Azubuike Chukwuka, the Director of Public Health and Humanitarian Services, Headquarters NAF, who stated that the 5-day medical outreach is an initiative of the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, as part NAF’s constitutional role of providing Military Aid to Civil Authority (MACA). He stated that the medical services that would be provided included health and visual acuity checks, de-worming of children as well as provision of prescription eye glasses, treated mosquito nets and required medication. He also noted that minor surgical procedures would be carried out for patients with surgical needs.
A large number of displaced persons benefited from the medical services on the first day of the outreach, which was witnessed by the Commander 351 Base Services Group NAF Base Minna, Group Captain Suleiman Usman as well as the State Coordinator Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Mrs Hajiya Saratu and the Chairman of Wushishi LGA, Alhaji Bashir Umar Maishanu. It would be recalled that the NAF also recently held a special medical intervention in Shinkafi, Zamfara State, where about 4,600 Internally Displaced Persons, who were victims of armed banditry, benefited from medical care.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force
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Report By: PRNigeria.com