Air Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh, Chief of the Air Staff


8 February, 2013

The Air Officer Commanding Training Command, Air Vice Marshal Isyaku Umar, has lamented that the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna has only one serviceable aircraft for the training of officers and men.

Umar told Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh, who was on his maiden familiarization tour of the NAF base in Kaduna yesterday that “the NAF base has only one serviceable aircraft used in the training of its personnel”, saying the training base needs a minimum of three aircraft to be able to conduct its local training as well as VIP missions. He said since his assumption the command has been able to aid the federal overnment’s efforts in internal security operations with men and helicopter deployment and has as well participated actively in the recent Mali operation in line with NAF’s directives.

The command, according to him, has successfully graduated six student pilots (SP) of 38 Course and five student instructor pilots recently concluded their training at 303 Flying Training School.

Speaking after his tour of various units in the NAF base, Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh said his visit to the Kaduna Training Command was to familiarize with officers and men of the command with a view to repositioning and moving the Air Force forward. “I expect myself to give approval for maintenance of facilities that are dilapidated… we are recruiting more and more people in the service now as our services are required at all times and if resources permit, we will build more accommodation for our officers and men. Kaduna base has always done well,although there are small challenges here and there, but the government is doing its best to provide for our needs”, he said.


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies


  1. doziex says:

    Yeah, where spending money is warranted, we choose to be inexplicably cheap and mizerly.

    So, we deprive NAF of adequate training facilities, that ghana and others can easily maintain.

    Then we turn around and send our pilots for upwards of 2 million usd a man to belarus, united states and where ever else we see fit to throw away our money.

    And of course, these foreign trained 2 million dollar pilots come home to no jets or other aircraft to fly.
    What is the hold up on our MB-39CDs ? We have been repairing them since president OBJ’s 1st term.
    We refurbish 4 alpha jets, and we expect applause ? Meanwhile, the ugandan airforce have successfully inducted 6 SU-30MK2s and a young female SU-27 pilot for years in the ethiopian airforce has had the 1st female air to air missile kill.

    Nigeria’s MoD should either demand funding for a competent modern airforce, or shut down this charade of an airforce we got going now.

    There is clearly no willingness by anybody to stand up an airforce that can protect nigeria, let alone make us proud.

    How expensive are tucano turbo prop trainers ? How expensive would new chinese K-8 or better yet L-15 advanced jet trainers be ?

    Why is a fleet of MI-17 transports so unattainable in nigeria ? Our MI-24/35s, all eleven of them have to be in mali, the niger delta and in the game reserves of maidugri all at once. And it hasn’t occurred to our defense establishment, that we need a lot more numbers of these cheap but effective attack helicoptors.


    • peccavi says:

      Guy the thing weak me

      • bomber says:

        MoD and FG fall my hand completely. I still believe the fault if from the MoD and not the FG. You need a CDs & CAS that knows what they are doing to force the money out of FGs pocket. Recently, NNPC took a loan of $1.5 billion and no body said anything. FG will always say there is no money but you need a scenario to push the money out. OBJ is more stingy than GEJ, yet something came out during his tenure.

      • bomber says:

        My guy, I tire

  2. freeegulf says:

    NAF has always had the short end of the stick. NN and NA have been able to pull themselves up, but NAF still finds it hard to get more acquisitions. they should be getting more tucano and PC-9 pilatus for training. shame, they cant seem to put their house in order.
    oga doziex, it still remains a mystery why NAF cant get abundant platforms; from primary turbo prop trainers to LIFT jets and multi-role combat aircraft. miserly is the right word, sad.

    • tim says:

      The nigerian navy has not done jack shit, am in the system I know….all those shits should be sold for scrap, even the ones given to us by the usa, and modern effective ship should be bought, it is a common joke among officers, that the only reason thise ships are there,is for people to say na my office be this….abeg oh doziex, if dem buy all this things, which money you want make them steal,wey go last till their unborn generation? Na why naija pilot go dey fly jet wey old pass am!!! Go still become instructor later, they teach younger officers about the jet wey old pass am…….

  3. beegeagle says:

    This story actually does not make sense – training and VIP transport..would that be a Dornier Do228 because I do not know any trainer which doubles as a VIP transport.

    The writer actually wrote “303 Options Training School” whereas nothing like that exists. What we have is a 305 Flying Training School – as we do 301 FTS for basic training and 305 FTS for helicopter pilot training.

    Again, the headline was sensationalist to the extreme. It read thus –


    and that was a blatant lie seeing that we have different schools using at least one each of different airframes – Air Beetle at 301 FTS, L39s at 303 FTS, Robinson+Agusta+Mi-34 at 305 FTS and A-Jet at 99 AWS.

    So what did she mean when she said ‘one aicraft’ ?? Are Air Beetles not the core of 301 FTS training assets? Do Air Beetles(ABT-18) double as VIP transport planes? Impossible. It does not add up at all.

    Look at the original headline with all the undertones of hyperbole and sensationalism entailed. HOW GROSS was that for a blatantly false headline? On the strength of their headline, you would NAF do basic, helicopter, advanced and air weapons training with that ONE magical airframe?

    They took delivery of RR helios for training barely two months ago(more than one unit) and in 2012 trained 40 heli pilots for the NA. With one airframe? Truth is, these people would go to any desperate length to cast aspersions on the government of the day which we hear is led by an ‘outsider’

    @Doziex+Freeegulf. Yes, we need more assets for the NAF. With upgrades, it is absolutely possible to acquire a surplus and optimally used Mi-24V or Mi-17V5 for US$5 million apiece.

    They are sharing out EXTRABUDGETARY money from the US$10bn Excess Crude Account all year round to the various tiers of government and have US$45bn in the Forex Reserves. Nothing stops them from spending a modest US$80m to get sixteen units of an equal mix of Mi-24V and Mi-17V5 attack and utility helicopters. It saddens that there just appears to be a lack of presence of mind where it matters the most in Nigeria.

    Over the past decade, pre-partition Sudan which was producing a fifth of Nigeria’s daily output of oil have ramped up stocks of Mil helicopters to about thirty Mi-24V and thirty-three Mi-17s. There are too many people who are under-performing in the quest to give the military what they need to be at their best.

    I shall come back later in the day with my ideal shopping list for the NAF.

  4. Number one says:

    Seriously is the air beetle still flying.

  5. Henry says:

    I don’t know, but so many things in this report don’t add up. It is simply impossible to say that the air force only has one aircraft( serviceable) for trainings.

  6. beegeagle says:

    The last time that an instructor and a student pilot got killed while on a training mission, which was 2011, they were flying an Air Beetle.

    Can’t recall the student pilot’s name now but he was an ex-boy soldier of NMS from the Akwa-Cross area.

  7. freeegulf says:

    yea, i believe the journo got it wrong or merely misunderstood the AOC. of course, there are inadequate platforms, but he, the AOC never said they had just a single air asset for training. moreover, the journo did not even specify which wing of TC the AOC was referring to.
    its not surprising since the majority of these journos know very little (with little interest also) about defence and defence related issues. just another assignment for them to report.
    NAF should really up their acquisitions. NN might not be the biggest on the continent, in fact, the top echelon might be using the acquisitions to cream off the goodies. but, at least they are moving slowly forward.
    NAF keeps blundering from one defence deal to another. where are the CASA 235s and 295s that should be part of NAF mobility air command fleet. where are the tornado panavia. if the tornadoes are too expensive, surely, the jaguars sepecats should be within their operating cost range.
    if they don’t want to overhaul the air force, then they have no valid reason in sustaining such a vital military institution that they, with their timid mindset view as very expensive or less strategic.
    a few yak-130s can set NAF in good forward pace. if poor countries like Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda can acquire sukhois, i see no reason why NAF cant make a headway with a decent trainer and light attack jet like the yak-130, and gradually move into the su-30s and J-11s. at least, if they must buy Chinese hardware, they should buy comparable system platforms.

    • tim says:

      Small boats moving forward.? Kai, stop that make I hear word……instead of them to improve, they are not even getting better with Acquisitions, the helicopters they bought in the early 80’s is far more effective than they bought about 2 decades later, and they are moving forward… life must not move forward like the NN……. The only thing the military is palatives, calm our nerves……good salary,nice welfare….. Nice papa alfa yankee, and wash wash kits, for you all to see!!

  8. Triqqah says:

    Look this our Govt are not serious, any time I’m having high hopes for the future of our dear country they will come and dash it! One platform chei! Its not like it is far from a lie. It might very much be true. Look around you and see the neglect everywhere. Where is our SU 27/30 multirole fighter? Just take a look at this list I fabricated.

    SU 27/30, J-7

    J-10, SU 25

    ATR 42 MP,

    RC-130, ATR 42MP, UAV

    G222,SA 330H Puma, C-130 Hercules

    Alpha jet, L 39 albatross, MB339

    If a civilian like me still in a University can construct this list base on Analysis and research why can’t a military top brass do the same.
    Or are they no seeing what we’re seeing? God will help Nigeria. ONE NIGERIA ALWAYS!

  9. gbash10 says:

    Most of our journalists dont know much about security/defence matters even those that are defence corresponce,I have heard NTA Defence correspondent,Muhammed Abdulkadir called several military commanders “commandant” including the NAF Air Detachment commander in Mali,AVM Oguntoyibo.
    From what I saw on NTA24,the NAF chief inspected an AirBeetle, with two Donier Do228,one painted in camouflage and the other white,all in a hangar.
    It seems the present CAS is also not a fighter pilot but a transport pilot.

  10. gbash10 says:

    There are too many dead-woods at MoD Abuja that are very CORRUPT, to the point that the ministry of finance is alway reluctant to release their capital expenditure.Most of these guys are old-school without any strategic thought and insensitive to the prevailing global military trends.
    They cant push for the refurbishment and upgradation of our aircrafts.

    • doziex says:

      Oga gbash10, a beg can’t Oga GEJ get rid of this people of which you speak ?

      I thought he now has them signing performance clauses upon appointment .

      With all the brilliant and dedicated officers the armed forces has, who are these “dead woods” that are bottle necks in the way of progress ?

      Our armed forces needs to identify these no good corrupt officers, and retire them or court marshall them with immediate effect.

      I was always wondering why madam finance minister was always withholding funds from them. I thought she didn’t realise the importance of military expenditure.

      How does india do it ? How does pakistan do it ? How does algeria do it ? We must find an accountable way to get things done.

      Thieving officials cannot be allowed to remain a reason/excuse for lack of progress.

  11. beegeagle says:

    Thanks, Gbash10. At least, it shows that we knew what we were talking about – Air Beetles, Do228s and Kaduna. That is why it is not hard to perforate some of these strange reports. To the casual observer, it would seem like holding forte for the NAF but this, ab initio, sounded like a mischievous report.

    So she was probably talking about Do 228s which are of secondary interest at 301FTS where the Bulldogs once ruled and where the Air Beetle has since taken their place.

    When I saw “303 Options Training School”, after having seen an unlikely “aircraft used for training and VIP transport”, I knew that the writer did not know what she was talking about.

    The said one aircraft could only have been a Do228 I imagined and if they have one at 301FTS, it is not exactly headline news knowing that the NAF have 53 installations and that places such as Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Sokoto, MDGR, Minna, Makurdi, Jos, Yola, PHC, Calabar would also be using a lot of Do-228s at this time when CTCOIN and other security operations are taking place.

    As for Air Beetles, I knew that from a pool of SIXTY airframes, it is IMPOSSIBLE to have only one unit flyable.

    Our journalists and more importantly, their slack editors need to raise their pedestrian game.

  12. beegeagle says:

    The problem, Tim, is that our people have not yet realised the routes to the attainment of effective ends.

    Mixing and matching new and used/surplus equipment, the Nigerian military can actually redefine its ‘face’ between now and 2015. Our people never stop yapping about competing demands. Algeria have subways and cable car networks(infrastructure) but theu also have about six squadrons of MiG 29s and Su 30s, S300 anti-missile systems, T90 tanks and submarines. They have no less than six corvettes and frigates plus an LPD on order as we speak.

    Our people can really under-perform for the country. After F7s, someone is talking about JF17 Thunder. Who enshrined the love of mediocrity at the core of our establishment. Brand-new for the heck of it?

    Fifteen years ago, Ethiopia reached out for eight USED units of Su-27s. Nigeria went out a decade later to grab fifteen units of brand-new F7s, three of which have been lost.

    I would sooner spend US$240m on sixteen refurbished Su-27s today than splashing out US$525m on a mixed fleet of twenty four F7s and JF17s which would be destroyed on the ground by the Su-27s. For goodness sake, is there any choice to be made between these airframes. A F7 from MMA can see an enemy aircraft at Victoria Island, both in Lagos. A JF17 at Lagos would shoot down an aircraft over Abeokuta.

    Now check this out. The BVR capability of the Su 27 ensures that from Lagos, it can shoot down an aircraft at Sapele in the Niger Delta, at Tema in Ghana or at Jebba in central Nigeria; from Abuja it can down an aircraft at Toro in Bauchi State or in metropolitan Kano; from PHC it can drop an enemy aircraft over Douala in Cameroon; from Sokoto, it can shoot down an aircraft over Niamey in Niger!! Is that not impressive?

    Why do our people do some of these strange stuff which they get caught up in? And why do the NAF even stomach some of these ridiculous choices and ideas?

    I said, Ethiopia acquired USED and old vintage Su-27s fifteen years ago and they have held firm till date. We took delivery of brand-new F7s three years ago. How many have been lost to crashes? When the FG mooted the idea of F7s for NIGERIA’s airforce in the new millennium, what did the NAF say about that dalliance with perfidy?

    What strategic vision underpinned the acquisition of a jet which cannot manage a return flight on a combat mission between Lagos and Jebba whereas we spent ten years in West Africa, 1,000-1250 miles from our shores and are still jumping from Guinea Bissau to Mali and Liberia?

    What place does an insular F7 which is only good enough for the defence of the nation’s periphery have in the NAF which has been in Liberia, Chad, Niger, Sierra Leone and CIV since 1990?

    It is a theatre of the absurd in the hallowed sanctum really.

  13. gbash10 says:

    Great Patriots,for some time now on this blog,we have been advocating that the FG should at least acquire used Sukhoi SU-27 or brand-new SU-30 Flanker fighter jets.
    I want us to know that the SU-30 has two variants, the more capable and lethal variant is– the SU-30MKI for India,SU-30MKM for malaysia,SU-30MKA for Algeria .This variant has a powerful radar- the NIIP N011M BARS,and the airframe is built by Irkut in western Russia.
    The second variant is–SU-30MKK/MK2 for China,SU-30MK2 for Uganda, Vietnam,and Indonesia,this variant has a less power radar-N001V MSA,and it built by KnAAPo in far east Russia.
    So if the FG would want to acquire the SU-30,then it should be the SU-30MKI/MKM/MKA Flanker variant built by Irkut.

    • Obix says:

      @Gbash, you are very correct. Coincidentally, yesterday on russian tv, i watched a 3 hour documentary on the SU27/SU30 family. These are real “airborne killer-beasts”. We can go for some of the up for sale 18 SU30s that were returned by India and now in Belarus. They can be upgraded to the Indian-Malasian versions and named SU30MKN (N for Nigeria). I’m sure they would come cheaper that going for new ones. The NIIP N011M phased array radar system can track 15 targets simultaneously and engage 4 of them. Imagine 2 of SU30MKI up against our entire fleet of F7N airframes!

  14. gbash10 says:

    The F-7NI Airguard fighter jets are not flying again!

  15. peccavi says:

    So rather than perpetually complaining how do we influence the government to take its responsibilities seriously?

    • doziex says:

      Oga peccavi, I was thinking the same thing.

      Publicizing these issues and making nigerians aware of them is a great thing beegeagle’s blog is already doing.

      However, it’s clearly not enough. We need whistle blowers from within the military. We need the nigerian press and blogosphere to truly wake up to these issues.
      This blog cannot do it alone.

      Naming and shaming powerful corrupt officials in the MoD in this case, would bring mr. Beageagle plenty of attention/ enemies, and one has to be sensitive to his predicament.

      But as we all know now, corrupt officials would always frustrate nigeria’s progress.

      Whether they are from your tribe or not, they are the true enemies of the people of nigeria.

      Most nigerians think it’s not that big a deal, but corrupt officials would surely destroy nigeria, if we do not collectively find a way to destroy them first.

  16. freeegulf says:

    do not forget the wuru wuru politics behind the scene. it wasn’t the air force that choose the F7 jets. rather, these jets where purchased by the mago mago politicians, the likes of ex kaduna state gov, markafi and the others.
    the way the F7 jets where acquired left a sour taste with NAF. obasanjo acted indifferent to the needs of NAF. some army officers re completely ignorant of the operations and policies of their sister services.

  17. airsupport says:

    Based on my personal observation, the only NAF aircraft that flies frequently out of the Kaduna NAF base is a sole Do228. It is used for VIP (most likely top military) transport. It is also used for training, because I have heard it (over the radio) doing training sorties. I think there is an element of truth to the original story. NAF Kaduna is a Dornier scrapyard.
    I have always wondered about the huge discrepancy in attention given to the presidential fleet and the complete dereliction of the combat/transport/training fleets.

  18. beegeagle says:


    13 February, 2013

    The Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh yesterday said three Donier Do 228 training planes at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna are being refurbished. The chief made the remarks while inspecting Air Force units in Abuja.

    He said the three Do 228 aircraft used for pilot training are undergoing routine maintenance in Kaduna. The planes are in the final stage of repairs and will be certified airworthy soon.

    He said the Air Force has a total of 16 aircraft types and all of them are serviceable including the C-130 and Alpha jets recently deployed to Mali for peace support operations.

    He said the new vision of the air force chief was to transform the force into a self reliant and highly professional fighting force through the application of innovative technology in fulfillment of national defence and security objectives.

  19. Yomi says:

    i am presently a student pilot in 301 FTS and it saddens a lot hearing all these propaganda. Civilians are meant to be boosting our morale instead of spreading rumours. Well d CAS has his objectives, and I can see things going on well. Right here, we have about 10 Airbeetles fully operational and we fly them as required. For the DO 228, I saw one being flown yesterday and I know I had being seeing DO 228s engage in paratrooping and COIM training. Gentlemen the Airforce is doing well.
    And pls knw dt pilot

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