The need to continually review and evaluate key safety strategies affecting Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operations while ensuring the Service remains a credible reference point for maintenance of high safety standards, was at the forefront of discussions at the just concluded 2021 NAF Safety Review Board (SRB) meeting. The meeting, which was held at the MD Umar Blue Room, at NAF Headquarters Abuja, afforded the Service the opportunity to take stock and appraise its safety practices and procedures for enhanced operational effectiveness and efficiency. In his remark during the meeting, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao disclosed that as a highly technical Service operating sophisticated aircraft, equipment and military hardware, flight safety should be inherent in all NAF daily activities. He went on to state that the meeting focused on the steps taken by various NAF units towards addressing safety issues highlighted by the standing NAF Safety Audit Committee set up earlier in the year to chart a way forward in maintaining high safety standards in aircraft operations. Air Marshal Amao further emphasized that the meeting should serve as a veritable platform for addressing all safety concerns so as to proffer realistic and lasting solutions to flight safety issues. According to the CAS, “Overall, the essence of the meeting must be geared towards making the NAF a safer, more effective and efficient instrument of National Power.” While commending all NAF personnel for maintaining high safety standards, the CAS enjoined members of the SRB to explore ways of ensuring the sustenance of high safety standards in the conduct of all NAF air operations.
Earlier, the Chief of Standards and Evaluation (COSE), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Olusegun Philip stated that the SRB, as the designated safety management body, is primarily tasked with appropriating safety policies and guidelines for the entrenchment of safety culture in the NAF. He also disclosed that so far, about 100 NAF personnel have undergone various safety courses within and outside the country in the last 6 months According to him, efforts were on to collaborate with the United States Air Force to organize an in-country safety management training for more NAF personnel before the end of the year. AVM Philip went further to state that training activities at Nigerian Air Force Institute of Safety which were hitherto suspended following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic will soon resume with new courses to broaden the scope of safety education in the NAF. He thereafter urged members of the Safety Review Board to continue to support all safety activities across the entire NAF strata through effective Monitoring and Evaluation.
The meeting had in attendance Branch Chiefs, Air Officers Commanding as well as NAF Safety and Evaluation officers drawn from NAF formations and units nationwide.