- The annual Chief of Air Staff Awards ceremony deviated from the norms by not only honouring NAF personnel, but also civilians
- The awards were in four categories
- The ceremony was held alongside a one-day workshop for commanders of its various field units
The annual Chief of Air Staff awards ceremony was held at the Nigerian Air Force headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday, January 3.
The ceremony was held to celebrate NAF personnel that were deemed to have demonstrated courage, resilience, commitment, ingenuity and dedication to service within the purview of their assigned tasks.
Unlike previous ceremonies, some civilians who added value to the efforts at ensuring the territorial integrity of the country were also honoured.
The awards were in four categories:
1. Best Unit in Research and Development in 2017: An award presented to 041 Communications Depot Shasha and received by the Unit Commander, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola.
2. Awards was for civilian staff: Armstrong Buba emerged as the Best Junior Civilian Staff in 2017 while Engineer Ajibola Suleimon received the award for the Best Senior Civilian Staff in 2017.
3. Awards was for military personnel only: Award of the Best Non-Commissioned (NCO) of the Year went to Lance Corporal Moses Okoye while the Best Senior NCO of the Year was adjudged to be Sergeant Ibrahim Abdulmalik.
In addition, the Best Junior Officer of the Year Award was given to Flight Lieutenant Nkemdilim Ofodile, a female officer while Wing Commander Fatai Ganiyu carted away the Best Senior Officer of the Year Award.
4. Awards was for special honourees: Corporal Mureh John, who received the Gallantry Award of Distinguished Eagle Class 2.
Other award recipients in the fourth category were Warrant Officer Jacob Omodara and Aircraftman Aliyu MS, both of who received the Special Proficiency Award Class 2.
Furthermore, the following officers received the Special Proficiency Award Class 1: Air Commodore Obainana Imafidor, Group Captain Albert Bot, Wing Commander Ahmadu Haruna, Late Air Commodre Adanu Ochai and Late Wing Commander Stephen Hedima.
The wives of Late Air Commodore Ochai and Late Wing Commander Hedima received the posthumous awards to their late husbands, both of who paid the supreme sacrifice while on active service to the nation.
Lastly, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Charles Ohwo was recognized as the Best Air Component Commander in the ongoing Operation Lafiya Dole in Northeast Nigeria.
The ceremony was held alongside a one-day workshop for commanders of its various field units to draw up new lines of actions for the NAF.
NAIJ.com gathered that the purpose of the workshop was to equip new commanders and remind older ones of their responsibilities and expectations in the conduct of their activities.
Consequently, presentations were made on subjects such as command responsibility, administration, financial matters and base defence.
While declaring the workshop open, the CAS, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stated that command appointments in the NAF come with a lot of responsibilities, including management of human and material resources, and hence the need for the workshop.
He, therefore, urged all participants to take keen interest in the presentations, which were carefully selected, to prepare them for increased effectiveness in the discharge of their responsibilities.
“After each presentation, there will be adequate time for discussion to further drive home the lessons learnt. I therefore urge all participants to take keen interest in the presentations, which were carefully selected, to enable you discharge your responsibilities more effectively,” the CAS said.
On the CAS awards ceremony, Air Marshal Abubakar noted that special awards were conferred on a few individuals who were deemed to have exceptionally extolled the 3 core values of the NAF in the past year.
Those NAF core values were said to be ‘‘Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do."
The CAS was quick to add that the personnel who received the awards represented a sample of the many resilient hearts that the NAF is proud of.
While advising the award recipients not to lose steam, he equally enjoined those who did not receive awards not to despair but rather be motivated.
According to the CAS, “it is glaring that the NAF cannot be strong without our collective contributions no matter how modest they may be."
On the civilians that were honoured, he said: “By their actions, these unique civilians have proved that the quest for peace and security in Nigeria, just like the rest of the world, requires the combination of the efforts of all Nigerians, irrespective of their affiliations or status."
He added that the action of the civilians was a testimony to the popular saying that “security is everybody’s business.”
Recenty, NAF honoured late Aircraftman Jamilu L, in appreciation of his sacrifice to end insurgency in Nigeria, by naming the newly constructed block of 30 units of one-bedroom self-contained apartments after him.
The late airman, who paid the supreme price while serving in Operation Zaman Lafiya in the North-east, was recognized for placing the interest of the nation above personal interest.
The residential accommodation, which is meant for the accommodation of Junior Non-Commissioned Officers serving in Minna, was commissioned by the NAF Chief of Administration, Air Vice Marshal Lawal Alao, who represented the CAS.
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