The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has said 650 of its personnel (officers and men) are set for the third NAF inter command combat sports competition tagged, “Uyo 2018” in April.
This year’s competition is scheduled to hold at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium Uyo.
Addressing journalists at the Headquarters of the Nigerian Air Force, Abuja, yesterday, on the line up of activities for the competition, chairman, organising committee for the event, Air Commodore Mfon Ekpoh, said the choice of Uyo was in recognition of the contributions of the Akwa Ibom State development of sports in Nigeria as well as the availability of standard sporting facilities in Uyo stadium.
He said the last two editions of the competition in 2016 and 2017 respectively under the able leadership of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, achieved its aim to promote combat fitness and espiri-de-corps among the personnel.
Ekpoh further said the competition has contributed significantly towards effective and efficient service delivery in NAF, as reflected in the physical fitness and mental alertness displayed by the NAF personnel since inception.
According to the Chairman, “It was in a bid to leverage on the importance of sporting activities to military operations that the Chief of Air Staff came up with a number of initiatives including renovations, upgrading and construction of new sporting facilities across Nigerian Air Force Bases to enhance regular exercise among personnel.
“This year’s event remains the same symbol of regimentation as it is designed to test combat readiness of personnel in a competitive manner while also promoting participation in sporting activities for enhanced combat capability”.
He also said participants who will be competing in various sporting events like combat swimming, combat relay race, taekwondo, tug of war and obstacle crossing will include personnel deployed to the ongoing counter insurgency operations in the North East and other internal security operations across the country.
“The event will also feature shooting exercises at the shooting range located in the Nigerian Army barracks, Abak.
“Seven teams, comprising headquarters, Nigerian Air Force, Tactical Air Command, Special Operations Command, Mobility Command, Air Training Command, Ground Training Command and Logistics Command, as well as Direct Reporting Units, are expected to produce participants that would compete in the outlined sporting events.
“Outstanding athletes, during the competition, will cart away medals, with an opportunity to represent the Nigerian Air Force and the nation in future championships”.
Ekpoh said the city of Uyo and its environs will witness considerable movement of troops and military equipment deployed for the competition within the period, urging the general public not to panic or entertain any form of fear when they see movement of troops and equipment especially shooting exercises during the period.
“They are advised to go about their normal lawful businesses as adequate measures have been put in place to guarantee their safety”, he noted.