The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has held its first quarter 2018 Route March Exercise for its personnel.
The Exercise, which took place simultaneously across all the six Commands on March 24, 2018, is part of the efforts by the NAF to ensure constant physical fitness of its personnel to tackle various security challenges.
The route march, which is a quarterly exercise, is also aimed at keeping NAF personnel physically fit and mentally strong for effective and efficient performance of their statutory role.
The exercise was led by the respective Air Officers Commanding (AOCs) in the various NAF Commands.
In his remarks to personnel after the exercise, the AOC Tactical Air Command (TAC) Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Oladayo Amao stated that the quarterly exercise was organised for the purpose of ensuring the physical fitness and wellbeing of personnel.
According to him, “we need to be physically and mentally fit at all times to perform our military duties”.
He noted that the exercise is in line with the vision of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) “to reposition the NAF into highly professional and discipline force through capacity building initiatives for effective, efficient and timely deployment of Air Power in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives”.
He charged personnel to always be physically fit and combat ready to defend the territorial integrity of the country any time they were called upon.
“If you train hard in peace time, you will bleed less in war time,” the AOC said.
In Bayelsa, the AOC Mobility Command, AVM Stephen Onuh commended officers and airmen/airwomen who participated in the Exercise for their active performance.
He pointed out that with the successful conduct of the Route March, the Command had activated its personnel ahead of the NAF Inter Command Combat Sports Competition slated to hold in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State from April 2 to 7, 2018.He, therefore, advised participants to take physical fitness exercise seriously to enable them train actively to achieve an excellent outing during the forthcoming combat sports competition.
AVM Ismaila Kaita, the AOC Special Operations Command, Bauchi, also charged personnel on the need to ensure physical fitness at all times especially now that the country faces several security challenges.
He then urged them to remain loyal to the constituted authority as they carry out their statutory responsibility.
In his remarks, the AOC Air Training Command, Kaduna, AVM Mohammed Idris stated that only mentally and physically sound personnel could tackle the security challenges in the country.
He reiterated that training is an on-going thing, which requires all NAF personnel to maintain a high degree of fitness and capability.
According to the AOC, “while our colleagues are in the frontline fighting against the enemies of the State to ensure peace in the country, we will be here training hard to replace them. We will train hard to ensure that the security of the country comes first.”
While addressing NAF personnel at the end of the exercise, the AOC Ground Training Command, Enugu, AVM Sampson Akpasa said that the exercise was to keep NAF personnel combat ready.
“A soldier that is not fit cannot perform satisfactorily, especially during emergencies,” Akpasa said.
The AOC also added that physical fitness was a prerequisite for successful operation within and outside the country.
In Ikeja, the AOC Logistics Command, AVM Remigus Ekeh directed personnel to continue to participate regularly in various sporting activities to ensure their combat readiness for effective service delivery and survival in national security operations. “
“Constant physical exercise is for your wellbeing and for us to be physically and mentally fit at all times to perform our duties”.
The AOC commended the massive turnout of both officers and men while reiterating that continuous sporting activities are indispensable for personnel to keep fit and continuously equip them for success and survival in any security operations.