Indigenous Aircraft Maintenance Capability received an improvement with a successful in-house conduct of 400 hours scheduled maintenance inspection on an F-7 fighter trainer aircraft.
This was done by engineers and technicians of the 131 Engineering Group (131 Engr Gp) Makurdi.
In a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola said this was imperative for a robust maintenance culture for the sustenance of platforms.
He said with equipment serviceability, it was an important part of the policy thrust of the current Leadership of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
Daramola said this was revealed when the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, conducted an operational visit to NAF Base Makurdi, and the proposed site for the 21 Quick Response Wing (21 QRW) in Agatu, Benue State.
The CAS, who was accompanied by other senior officers from NAF Headquarters, was received by the Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao.
While briefing the CAS, the Commander 131 Engr Gp, Air Commodore Pius Oahimire, stated that the conduct of such a high level maintenance inspection by NAF personnel, without foreign assistance, was a historic achievement.
Oahimire stated that the feat had only been made possible through the current NAF Leadership’s intensive human capacity development initiatives which had empowered technicians with necessary skills and confidence to do the job.
He thanked the CAS for creating an enabling environment that facilitated the realisation of the feat which included the provision of necessary resources and approval of special allowances for the aircraft technicians involved in the inspection.
The Commander stated that the in-house inspection had cost the NAF N3 Million, whereas, over N30 Million would have been required if done by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or an external maintenance repair facility.
The 400 hours scheduled inspection was completed in 3 weeks and involved the removal, servicing, testing and re-installation of the aircraft engine and other major components.
Improve water supply
During the operational visit, the CAS also inspected the water treatment facility in NAF Base Makurdi, which was being renovated and expanded to improve water supply to residents.
The on-going work, now at about 75 per cent completion, involved increasing the reservoir capacity from 450,000 cubic litres to 1.35 Million cubic litres and an overhaul of surface supply tanks and replacement of reticulation pipes.
When completed, water supply to the Base would be boosted by over 100 per cent.
The CAS later proceeded to Agatu to inspect an on-going renovation work at the proposed base site for the 21 QRW as he expressed satisfaction with the progress and gave further directives on additional works to be done.
The 21 QRW was established to enhance NAF’s response capabilities in dealing with internal security threats along the Benue-Nasarawa corridor.