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NAF Seeks To Strengthen Partnership With NCC

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The chief of air staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the force would continue to strengthen its existing strategic partnership with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in order to contain emerging 21st Century security challenges as well as to further develop needed capacity in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Abubakar stated this on Thursday, during a courtesy visit to the executive vice chairman (EVC) of NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta.

In a statement, the director of public relations and information said the NAF, being a highly technical service, requires knowledgeable personnel with the right technical abilities to deal with the security challenges in the 21st century that are often complicated by rapid technological advancements, hence the need for the partnership.

He noted that the NAF, on its part, had continued to seek for ways to build the capacity of its personnel to effectively man its equipment, including ICT facilities that support its Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems in the various Theatres of Operation.

“The NAF, in furtherance of its aggressive human capacity building initiative, has, within the past three years, trained several personnel in ICT-related fields in United States of America and India, apart from the many others trained locally,” he said.

He noted, however, that there were still human capacity gaps which could be filled in partnership with NCC.

The CAS also revealed that the NAF is in the process of establishing new air combat ranges in remote parts of Bauchi and Zamfara States and would require the assistance of the Commission to facilitate the provision of telecommunications service access to these areas.

In his remarks, Professor Danbatta commended the Service for the important role it has been playing in the fight against insurgency and other security threats in the country.

He stated that knowledge of ICT is critical in dealing with security challenges in the 21st century, where security does not end in the three physical domains but also includes space and cyberspace.

Danbatta reiterated NCC’s commitment to continue to collaborate with the NAF to enhance its ability to deal with emerging threats.

He explained that NCC’s training arm, which is the Digital Bridge Institute, has the mandate to develop capacity in all telecommunications fields covering Nigeria and the entire West African sub-region.

He therefore suggested that a joint team, comprising officers from the NAF and DBI, should be set up to work out specific areas of training needs with a view to developing tailored courses for the NAF.

Professor Danbatta stated that the Commission had already mapped out all areas across the country where network access gaps existed and would work with the NAF to fill the gaps in the requested areas.

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