The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao has stated that the operational successes recorded by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) cannot in themselves guarantee the transformational outcomes desired unless personnel possess the right attitudinal mindset. The CAS who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal Remigus Ekeh, made this known while delivering the welcome address at the 3rd Quarter Defence/Services Transformation and Innovation Meeting held at the Blue Room of Headquarters Nigerian Air Force. According to the CAS, “the most important and difficult change to achieve is the change in mentality of the members of an organization, hence the need to encourage a NAF culture that fosters leadership, education, organization, processes, values and attitudes that promote meaningful innovation.” He went on to state that it is only when change happens in the minds of people that it can be applied to the structures, processes, performances and results of an organization. Air Marshal Amao also revealed that to meet the requirements for transformation, the NAF has focused its energies on doctrinal development and application of airpower to provide the needed synergy for joint military operations. This focus, according to him, has resulted in the production of new doctrines in 10 areas of core competencies of the Service. Air Marshal Amao further noted that in the fight against insurgency and terrorism, where the need to win the support of the citizenry is paramount, the Armed Forces must exude an attitude that endears it to the civilian populace.
Air Marshal Amao also informed the gathering that the scale of training in the NAF has increased and deepened to emphasize the development of personnel’s capacity to bring about innovative solutions in the sustenance, serviceability and maintenance of air platforms, equipment and logistics support systems. This is just as there has been the conscious focus on improving personnel welfare to ensure that personnel are physically and mentally conditioned to discharge their responsibilities more effectively and efficiently. Central to these efforts, according to the CAS, is the imperative for mentoring and value-based knowledge development which has been at the fore in a bid to ensure that NAF personnel exude an attitude that is driven by experience, fact and conviction.
The meeting which had as its theme, “Attitudinal Change: A Panacea for Operational Ineffectiveness,” focused on finding ways to “review” the mindset of the most vital resource any fighting force has in achieving success – the human component. Specifically, the meeting laid emphasis on crafting ways to build and foster among personnel, positive attitudes that would have a cascading effect on their performance to the extent that such attitudes translate into effectiveness in the conduct of combat operations. A key highlight of the meeting was the presentation of a paper titled, “Attitudinal Change: A Panacea for Operational Ineffectiveness” by the President, Alumni Association of the National Defence College Nigeria, Air Commodore Darlington Abdullahi (Rtd). In attendance were Branch Chiefs from NAF headquarters, Chiefs of Transformation from Defence and Services Headquarters, Air Officers Commanding (AOCs) and some selected Directors and Unit Commanders from NAF Units nationwide.