The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Monday inaugurated the 057 Air Provost K9 Wing Investigation Group, Bauchi, to enhance counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency in the North East.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Sadique Abubakar, an air marshal, said the NAF embarked on the training of 20 Air Provost Personnel, comprising three officers and 17 airmen/airwomen.
“These personnel, alongside their 20 Military Working Dogs, jointly undertook various specialist trainings, among which include explosive and narcotic substance detection, waterman ship, navigation and rappelling,” he said.
Mr Sadique, who was represented by Mohammed Idris, the Chief of Administration, Air Force Headquarters, Abuja, said the establishment of the wing now brings to 40 the Military Working Dogs in the Service.
He noted that the NAF for the first time undertook the training and enlistment of five Special Operation Dogs to further push the options for engagement of Military Working Dogs in the service.
Mr Sadique lauded the contributions of the dogs to ground operations and base defence in various counter-terrorism exercises conducted by the service in 2019.
The Chief of Air Staff explained that, “the decision to situate the K-9 wing in Bauchi stems from the imperative to have the Military Working Dogs directly supporting our counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency operations in the North East as well as integrating them in the activities of the Special Operations Command.
“The growth in the Provost’s K-9 capability is equally projected to create the capacity for the Air Provost to be integrated in the conduct of Combat Search and Rescue operations in the Service.
“Indeed, the long-term outlook is to have Military Working Dogs operations fully encapsulated in the law enforcement, base defence and special operations of the Nigerian Air Force, as well as in Military Aid to Civil Authority when the need arises.’’
The CAS commended President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the enabling environment for the NAF to keep discharging its statutory responsibilities, in spite of other contending challenges.
In his remarks, Charles Ohwo, Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Special Operations Command (SOC), Bauchi, lauded the NAF initiative of constantly devising ways to address potential security challenges to its operations.
He said NAF had over the years built capacity in the various specialties responsible for its internal security and discipline.
Mr Ohwo said the establishment of Air Provost K-9 Wing in Bauchi would complement the efforts of NAF in performing its duties.