Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) decorating the NAF Spokesman, Edward Gabkwet with his new rank of Air Vice Marshal being supported by his wife, Mrs Gabkwet in Abuja on Friday (29/12/23)
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on Friday, decorated 22 newly promoted Air Vice Marshals and 16 Air Commodores with their new ranks following their recent elevation by the Air Force Council.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the council had on Dec. 21, approved the promotion of 22 Air Commodores to the rank of AVM and 16 Group Captains to the rank of Air Commodore.
The Minister of Defence, Muhammed Badaru, who was represented by the Minister of State, Bello Matawalle, said that attaining general rank in any military worldwide was an enviable feat.
Badaru said the promotion, especially to air rank, was highly desirable, motivating, rewarding and most importantly demanding.
According to him, it is demanding because, as officers of air rank, the service expects you to lead from a more holistic and strategic perspective, having garnered experience and an enormous amount of training.
He said the service and indeed, the entire nation, relied on the new crop of officers to utilise all the knowledge, wisdom, ingenuity and critical thinking capabilities they had gathered over the years to move the NAF to higher heights and foster a peaceful and greater Nigeria.
The minister reminded the officers that promotion comes with greater expectations and responsibilities, urging them not lose sight of the ongoing fight against terrorism, banditry and all other forms of criminality.
“Invariably, your mandate as Generals is to successfully execute all such operations necessary to preserve national security and territorial integrity.
“Hence, it is expected that with your upliftment to the ranks of Air Commodore and Air Vice Marshal, you will redouble your efforts to discharge your duties so we can quickly end all security threats to our dear nation,” he said.
Badaru said that the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu, had been forthcoming and remained committed to supporting the Nigerian military in general and the NAF in particular.
“Accordingly, the government is poised to provide the Armed Forces as well as other security agencies with the necessary resources to ensure a peaceful, safe and prosperous nation,” he said.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, said that promotion was usually granted in recognition of hard work, commitment and diligence in most organisations, adding that the military was not an exception.
Abubakar said that while promotion was highly desirable, motivating and rewarding, it also placed added responsibilities on those so recognised, considering the current and emerging security challenges confronting Nigeria.
He urged them to put on their thinking caps and chart workable strategies in their quest to “transform the NAF into an agile and resilient force that effectively meets the air power demands of national security in all operational environments.”
“You will also be required to continue to display exceptional integrity, selfless service and commitment to excellence.
“This would ensure that the NAF records outstanding results in every area of competence and translate to successes in the various theatres of operation with resultant improved security for our people across the country.
“You must remember that we cannot afford to fall short of the expectations of all Nigerians.
“I therefore urge you to remember that failure should never be an option so long as your determination to succeed remains strong,” he said.
AVM Suleiman Usman, one of the promoted officers who spoke in behalf of his colleagues, said the promotion was a call for them to continue to give their very best in the service of the nation.
Usman said they were very much aware of the enormous responsibilities expected of them in addressing the security challenges facing the nation.
He assured of their commitment to give their best in their various capacities, to bring lasting peace to the nation.
“Our deepest appreciation goes to President Bola Tinubu for finding us worthy of this elevations and for his unwavering support, guidance and commitment to the advancement of the NAF,” he said. (NAN)