25 August, 2013
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has trained 47 officers and men of the force,including 12 females, in various courses on advanced intelligence gathering to review and checkmate the heinous activities of insurgents in some parts of the country. The courses were designed to develop and implement agile security related information communication technology in the force.
They are on basic intelligence and documentary security for safeguarding classified information, storage, distribution and transmittal to circumvent the security challenges being faced by the country. The courses, which cover almost all aspects of intelligence and security education and operation, are also aimed at upgrading and consolidating the skills and knowledge of the operators in order to prevent further insurgencies.
The graduation ceremony for the NAF officers was first held in June, and another in August 2013 at NAF Base, Makurdi, Benue State.
The exercise was performed by the Chief of Air Staff, Alex Badeh, who presented certificates and awards of performance to the graduating officers. The events were a clear indication of the high premium the force placed on curbing the insurgence of suicide bombers.
However, the commandant of the Nigerian Air Force School of Air Intelligence (NAFSAINT), Group Captain Benson Adeniyi Omoyungbo said the development was in cognisance of the fact that there must be preparation by the force to defend the nation against threats in espionage and in cyberspace. Omoyungbo, while conducting the ceremony at NAF Base, Makurdi, explained that the students were in the school for a 16-week course and that the training was critical in the achievement of a purposeful operational effectiveness.
“In today’s world, organisations including the armed forces of Nigeria must be prepared to defend against threats in espionage and in cyberspace. Reminiscently, we are all witnesses to leaked documents from the diplomatic cables and explosive US national security agency document deluge by Wikileaks founder in 2010. With hindsight, NAFSAINT deems it necessary having drawn inspiration from the chief of the Air staff’s vision to develop and implement agile security related information communication technology curriculum.”
He added that, “the intelligence community in Nigeria, especially the NAF intelligence directorate is committed everyday to providing the nuanced and multidisciplinary intelligence to all and sundry. It was on this note that the school has been organising document security courses for personnel of the Force. He noted that with the current global security threats, there was the need for governments and Force commands to focus attention on social media intelligence which he pointed out was successfully experimented and tested and by the United Kingdom police during the riots in the United Kingdom in 2011.
The commandant further charged the graduates to utilise properly the knowledge acquired during the course and that they should always have the vision of their service chiefs at the back of their minds in order to enhance unity and cooperation.
The special guest, Commander of 325 GTG Kaduna, Group Captain Christopher Dola, explained that the courses were aimed at introducing fresh entrants into the Air Force’s intelligence specialty with basic rudiments of information gathering and security duties. He charged the graduating officers to quickly key into the initiative of transforming NAF through security objection and rapid intelligence gathering and urged them to be proud operatives, as well maintain the image of the Force.
Dola, however, urged the graduates to always display honesty and strong moral principles in the conduct of their duties and advised them to strive to build ethos of cooperation and collaboration to facilitate widest possible understanding of intelligence requirements.