The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Nigerian Air Force NAF, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has expressed his delight over the successful completion of the Periodic Depot Maintenance PDM of heavy airlift platform which would improve the operational efficiency of the NAF.
In a statement released by the Director of Public Relations and Information Nigerian Air Force, Air commodore Ibikunle Daramola on Wednesday while accepted back into service another C-130H aircraft, NAF 913, after a successful PDM within the country at the 631 Aircraft Maintenance Depot (631 ACMD), Ikeja, Lagos.
He said, it would give the required impetus for prompt deployment of troops and the provision of logistical support required for operational effectiveness in all theatres of operation. “This accomplishment is a clear manifestation that our efforts at enhancing self-reliance is gradually producing the desired outcome”.
He noted that some of the benefits of the in-country PDM include tremendous savings of foreign exchange for the nation as well as significant improvements in the NAF human resource capacity and competence, thereby repositioning the NAF for better service delivery.
He expressed optimism that in the near future, the 631 ACMD would have developed capacity to transition into an authorized Regional Maintenance Repair Organization (MRO) for the C-130 aircraft type that would not only conduct PDM and other major maintenance activities on NAF C-130s but also for aircraft of other air forces in the Region.
Speaking further, Air Marshal Abubakar stated that the modest accomplishments so far achieved by the Service had greatly enhanced the serviceability of the NAF aircraft fleets and boosted its capability to project Air Power within and beyond the shores of the country.
Apart from the commissioned C-130H, the CAS said, the NAF is equally undertaking the local reactivation of 3 Alpha Jets and one Mi-35P helicopter. “It is also my belief that in a few months ahead, we will also be here to commission the third C-130H, that is, NAF 918”.
He said the local capacity enhancement efforts are in line with the Federal Government’s policies and aspirations that encourage Ministries, Departments and Agencies to look inwards and evolve innovative solutions to the myriad of challenges the nation is confronted with.
In line with this, he said, the NAF would continue to pursue its capacity building initiatives through the conduct of local PDM of all aircraft types. He stressed that this would undoubtedly enable the Service to fulfill its primary responsibilities as provided in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to meet a broad range of national security imperatives.
While concluding his remarks, the CAS appreciated Messrs Shaheen Foundation of Pakistan for their contribution towards the timely completion of the maintenance activities on the aircraft, while also congratulating all the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and NAF engineers and technicians who participated in the well-executed project.