By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-AS it has begun production of indigenous operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAVs, the Nigerian Air Force said yesterday that it has trained a total of 20 of its officers both in India and the United States of America on how to handle them.
The officers were trained on software development and cyber security ahead of its recently launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, UAV which it tagged ‘Tsaigumi.’
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who disclosed this during his opening remarks at a workshop organised for personnel of the Nigerian Air Force Communication Branch at the Air Force Headquarters, Abuja, said 12 personnel were trained as software developers in the US while eight others were trained in India on cyber security respectively.
According to him, “this became necessary to ensure effective service delivery with the ever-expanding Information and Communication Technology world.”
Abubakar, while adding that there were plans by his administration to train more personnel in the areas, said it all aimed at enabling the Nigerian Air Force “build capacity in embedded systems and micro controllers-components of the auto pilot for the locally developed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAVs.
He also said in line with one of the key drivers of his vision on human capacity development, the service had” embarked on several trainings for its personnel in software development, cyber security, communications, imagery analysis and maintenance of our navigational aids facilities.”
According to him, several local trainings had alsoy been conducted.
Hear him:”A total of 12 officers have been trained in the USA as software developers and eight others trained in India on cyber security and there are plans to train more.
“These would enable the NAF build capacity in embedded systems and micro controllers-components of the auto pilot for the locally developed UAVs.
“This became necessary to ensure effective service delivery with the ever-expanding lnformation and Communication Technology world.”
The Air Force chief, while noting that the workshop, being the first since the establishment of the Nigerian Air Force Communication Branch, was very important to the service as a fighting force, regretted what he called a graduate decline in expertise, skills and professionalism of the branch.
He attributed the regrettable development to the disengagement from service of the service highly trained personnel.
“Over the years, we have noticed a gradual decline in expertise, skills and professionalism of the branch personnel especially with the disengagement from service of our highly trained personnel.”
While noting that sophisticated equipment were in use today besides the technological advancement which he said, was quite rapid, he charged the Nigerian Air Force personnel to as a matter of necessity “be abreast with current developments if they are to remain relevant.”
“Modern warfare is technologically driven, hence the giant strides of the NAF towards infusing technology in its operations. In particular, the employment of information and communications technology is a strategic tool to enhance our operational and administrative processes, “he said.
Air Marshal Abubakar said the Nigerian Air Force had expanded communications with introduction of urban communications system and trained personnel on the basic maintenance of the cameras on its Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance, lSR platform.
” Navigational aids personnel are also being trained on airfield equipment system maintenance. These measures will save enormous foreign exchange needed to effect repairs abroad, “he further said.