NAF Fabricates APU Test Stand for Aircraft

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has recorded another feat in the area of Research and Development (R & D) as it has successfully fabricated a GTCP85 Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) Test Stand for the C-130H aircraft fleet. The local production of this Ground Support Equipment (GSE), carried out by personnel at 631 Aircraft Maintenance Depot (631 ACMD) Ikeja, is another innovative project that would facilitate the operations of the C-130H fleet, thereby enhancing its availability for logistics missions. The feat is coming barely a month after the successful local production of the hydraulic diaphragm for the L-39ZA aircraft fleet at the 403 Flying Training School, Kano.

Speaking while commissioning the APU at the 631 ACMD today, 2 December 2019, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stated that the NAF had continued to develop human capacity through robust and result oriented training that has in turn had tremendous impact on its R&D efforts to develop indigenous technological solutions to engineering and technical problems. He said, in a bid to ensure the continued development of local capacity, the NAF has entered into partnerships with a host of local and international organizations as well as academic institutions, including some Nigerian Universities. He said the local production of the APU Test Stand was a product of these initiatives and was in line with the commitment to reinforce the culture of self-reliance through R&D.

The CAS therefore commended the Commander 631 ACMD, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Moses Onilede and his team for a job well done. “I am equally happy to note that the equipment stands out among its kind. The use of this equipment will save the nation huge foreign exchange and has equally repositioned the Depot for better service delivery. It is quite important to state that our modest accomplishments so far have greatly enhanced the serviceability of our aircraft holding, thereby enabling us to project Air Power not only within our country but also beyond the shores of Nigeria. The NAF thus stands ready to continue to fulfill its primary responsibility whilst also providing aid to civil authority in whatever roles that may from time to time be required,” he assured.

Air Marshal Abubakar also implored aircraft engineers not to rest on their oars but to continuously conduct research so as to keep pace with technological advancements in the world with a view to providing solutions to various challenges. “You would agree with me that the world is ever-evolving, and that engineers play a critical role in providing technological solutions to societal problems. Engineers are therefore expected to work extra hard to provide innovative solutions to make things happen by exploring a good mix of knowledge with innovative ideas and creativity”, he said. While thanking the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, the CAS stated that the various achievements recorded by the NAF over the years would not have been possible without the enabling environment and resources provided by the Federal Government.

It would be recalled that upon the passing of the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Bill and establishment of the Air Force Research and Development Centre (AFRDC), the number of NAF’s successful R &D breakthroughs has continued to increase. For instance, the NAF was able to design and produce the first indigenous operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle named ‘Tsaigumi’. The NAF also acquired patent rights for the production of Hydraulic Accumulation Diaphragm, which is a critical item required to operate the Mi-35 helicopter gunship thereby boosting NAF operational capabilities in the North East. Weaponization of some A-Jet aircraft, L-39ZA, Bell 412, Agusta 109LUH, Mi-17 and EC-135 helicopters for deployment in the ground attack role were also successfully carried out. Moreover, the Design and production of a test bench for the Alpha Jet anti-skid system in collaboration with the University of Maiduguri as well as the local repair of Alpha Jet Engines by NAF Technicians are some of the giant leaps the NAF had taken to conserve foreign exchange while ensuring maintenance of capacity to perform the critical role of conducting air operations in support of surface forces and in response to national security imperatives.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Commander 631 ACMD disclosed that the APU test stand was fabricated by personnel who were trained on equipment at the reactivated Machine Tools and Structural Repair Workshops of the Unit. According to him, the APU test stand is a unique Aircraft GSE designed to serve many purposes such as ground power unit to supply electrical power for the aircraft, air cart to produce bleed air to start aircraft engines as well as test the C-130 generator. AVM Onilede further disclosed that, with the Test stand, the capacity of 631 ACMD to maintain and repair the APU has been greatly enhanced. The APU Test stand, the Commander said, has been used to repair one unserviceable APU in the Unit. He said most of the parts used to fabricate the test stand were sourced locally while those requiring machining were machined in the reactivated Machine Tools Workshop without any foreign assistance. The Team that fabricated the APU was composed mainly of young officers led by Flight Lieutenants Olajide Oyekunle and Gabriel Onoh.

IBIKUNLE DARAMOLA
Air Commodore
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force
………….

NAF GROUND TRAINING COMMAND HOLDS MAIDEN SEMINAR ON LAWS OF ARMED CONFLICT

In view of the need to sustain the awareness among personnel on the imperatives of strict observance of the Laws of Armed Conflict (LOAC) during military operations as well as ensure Commanders remain conversant with their responsibilities, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Ground Training Command (GTC) today, 2 December 2019, commenced its Maiden LOAC Seminar. The two-day Seminar, with the theme “Observance of LOAC: A Panacea for Successful Military Operations”, is holding at the 551 NAF Station Jos.

In his remarks during the opening ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Air Secretary Headquarters NAF, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Mohammed Ahmed, noted that one of the focal points of his vision is the development of human capacity for enhanced professional performance. This, he stated, was premised on the fact that he is a firm believer that an individual can only give what he/she has and a human being can only add value to society if he/she has what it takes to do so. Besides, he observed that an individual’s value to any community is substantially defined by how much knowledge and capacity he/she has. He said this focus has had tremendous impact on the ability of the Service to effectively discharge its constitutional roles. “I am happy to note that we have made substantial progress in the development of human capacity in all specialties within the NAF. This Seminar is one case of such efforts”, he said.

While recounting that the NAF Directorate of Legal Services had organized a similar Seminar in March 2019, the CAS emphasized that the GTC Seminar was aimed at further expanding the target audience in the wake of increasing observations of human rights abuses within the theatres of operation and their attendant negative consequences on military operations. According to the CAS, “it has become increasingly important to constantly remind ourselves on the rules and regulations guiding the use of arms in crises situations particularly during internal security operations”. Air Marshal Abubakar, who expressed confidence in the calibre of resource persons at the Seminar, urged participants to be broad minded and come up with innovative ideas that would improve the observance of human rights by the NAF in the performance of its constitutional roles. He added that the NAF, in keeping with its usual practice, would use the recommendations of the seminar to improve its processes and procedures.

In his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) GTC, Air Vice Marshal Idi Amin, said the Command was aware that the products from its various training institutions, particularly Regiment and Special Forces personnel who are deployed mainly for ground operations in various theatres of conflict within the country, need to be equipped with requisite knowledge that would guide their conduct. He said the Seminar was accordingly being held to increase awareness among the personnel as well as create consciousness among Commanders of their responsibilities with respect to LOAC. He said the outcome of the Seminar would also be used to enhance the training curricula of both the Military Training Centre and the Regiment Training Centre. While thanking the CAS for his guidance, support and visionary leadership, the AOC pledged the commitment of the officers and airmen/airwomen of the Command to continue contributing their quota towards the accomplishment of the NAF’s Mission.

The first paper titled “Observance of the Law of Armed Conflict During Military Operations” was delivered by AVM Ahmed and discussed by Professor CJ Dakas of the University of Jos, Brig Gen FJ Udaya (rtd) of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) and Major AB Bello (rtd) of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Other papers to be delivered during the Seminar are “Command and Individual Responsibilities during Asymmetric and Internal Security Operations” and “Ensuring Human Rights and Public Trust during Military Operations in Internal Security”. In attendance at the Seminar are Branch Chiefs from Headquarters NAF, Air Officers Commanding as well as many other senior military officers, both serving and retired, and personnel from units under GTC.

IBIKUNLE DARAMOLA
Air Commodore
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force