NAF Commissions Commando Village in South-West
As part of efforts geared towards improving the operational skills of personnel in the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) today, 3 February 2020, commissioned a Commando Village at the 209 Quick Response Group (QRG), Ipetu-Ijesha. The Commando Village is designed as a typical rural area scenario that would be used by NAF personnel for training in jungle warfare. Also, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, inaugurated the NAF Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) Course 2/2020.
Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, the Executive Governor of the State of Osun, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, represented by his Deputy, Mr Gboyega Alabi, while commending the NAF leadership for constructing the Commando Village, noted that it was one of the numerous efforts aimed at honing the skills and competencies of NAF personnel to be more effective in combating insurgency, banditry and other security threats in the nation. The initiative, he remarked, would no doubt send the right signal to the criminal elements that there is no more hiding place for them. Governor Oyetola further noted that the facility would provide an avenue for producing trained personnel, in the right number and quality to defeat the criminals.
In expressing his appreciation to the Federal Government, Governor Oyetola said, “these aforementioned brilliant initiatives attest to the huge importance the Federal Government, under President Muhammadu Buhari, attaches to security and safety of the people of the South West. I deeply appreciate Mr President for his love and concern for the people,” he said. The Governor also thanked the CAS for his visionary leadership and ingenuity that translated to the provision of welfare for officers, airmen/airwomen as well as the building of their capacity for optimum service delivery. He assured of the State’s readiness to provide necessary support for the success of the laudable efforts of the NAF in providing security for the people.
Speaking during the commissioning, the CAS, who was represented by the Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Ground Training Command (GTC), Air Vice Marshal Idi Amin disclosed that the event marked the fulfillment of his promise during EXERCISE BUJE EKUN in December 2019 to improve the training facilities at NAF Base, Ipetu-Ijesha for the training of personnel in specific area of needs, such as jungle warfare, should the NAF Special Forces be required to contribute in dealing with Internal Security challenges in the South South or South West of the Country. The CAS noted that in contemporary times, insecurities around the world were more often caused by non-state actors and are fought in built-up areas such as towns and villages. Accordingly, the CAS maintained that there was need to give personnel training in such environments, which have their own complexities, in order to familiarize them with such terrains.
Speaking further, Air Marshal Abubakar reiterated the NAF’s commitment to continue providing the enabling environment for realistic training. He therefore charged the instructors and students to make the best use of the facilities to develop the right operational skills, whilst ensuring proper maintenance of the village. He equally urged the 35 participants of the 14-week Combat Search and Rescue Course 2/2020 to ensure they remain focussed on their training whilst ensuring a harmonious relationship with the host communities. The CAS assured that the NAF would continue to develop manpower to meet its constitutional obligation to protect lives and properties of Nigerians while re-emphasizing that the task of nation building was a collective responsibility, especially given the various security challenges facing the nation. He also used the occasion to appreciate the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his resolute support to the NAF in its quest to develop operational capability, assuring that the Service would continue to sustain efforts toward addressing the nation’s security challenges.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commander 209 QRG, Group Captain Daniel Komo, stated that the Commando Village would enable personnel to conduct more realistic training exercises thereby improving the operational effectiveness of NAF air and ground platforms. He disclosed that the NAF had constructed 2 other Commando Villages in Kaduna and Bauchi to familiarize personnel with operations in the savannah and arid terrain. According to him, “the village will bring additional dimensions to our training, by allowing us to conduct more effective training using the peculiarities of the jungle environment”.
Among the other dignitaries that graced the occasion were senior officials of the State of Osun; the representative of His Royal Majesty, (Dr) Oba Samson Adeleke Agunbiade Oke, Agunbiade III, Ajalaye of Ipetu-Ijesha, as well as senior military officers and heads of security agencies in Osun. Highlight of the occasion was the simulation of a hostage rescue scenario, involving Close Quarter Battle (CQB), conducted by NAF Regiment and Special Forces personnel.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force