Nigerian Army Students Pilot Urged to Be Ready

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Gen Minimah exchanging pleasantries with the student pilots on arrival

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Kenneth Minimah, chief of army staff, is urging Nigerian Army Students pilot to be ready at all times to work and live with troops

NIGERIAN Army student pilots are to be ready at all times to work and live with troops wherever operational exigency demands without any thought of leaving their chosen line of flying combat helicopters. Kenneth Minimah, chief of army staff, COAS, gave the charge while addressing student pilots undergoing helicopter flying training at the International Helicopter Flying School, Enugu.

“You should also banish all thoughts of leaving your chosen line of flying combat helicopters. The Nigerian Army will not train you and afterwards allow you to branch out to other arms or services on flimsy excuses.”

Minimah during his assessment visit to the 10 Nigerian Army student officers at the School, said that he was pleased to hear that the students were doing well and encouraged them to put in their utmost best in all written and practical aspects of the course to ensure their graduation. He informed the students that they would form the nucleus of the newly established Nigerian Army Aviation Wing.

COAS (4th left), senior officers and student pilots in a group photograph
COAS (4th left), senior officers and student pilots in a group photograph

The COAS also revealed that the Nigerian Army established its Aviation Wing to complement the Nigerian Air Force based on the experiences gathered fighting terrorists in the North Eastern region where gaps in air support leading to reverses brought to fore the need for combat helicopters to provide intimate support to troops. This means apart from support from the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Army will have its own air support element that would always be with the ground troops and readily provide air support whenever required.

The COAS told the students that the Army would ensure their accommodation, hangar and all necessary facilities are put in place before their graduation. He also expressed the resolve of the Nigerian Army in ensuring that the Service gets the issue of establishing the Army Aviation Wing right as opposed to several failed attempts in the past.

The COAS was accompanied by Major General, Shehu Yusuf, general officer commanding 82 Division and Brigadier General Solomon Udounwa, chief of staff to the COAS. He was received by Air Vice Marshal CN Chukwu, air secretary, Air Commodore I. Yahaya, Commander 305 Helicopter Group, and Group Captain Ayo Jolasinmi, rector, International Helicopter Flying School.

— Jul 6, 2015 @ 11:20 GMT

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