Repair work on the Runway and ancillary facilities at the Makurdi Military Airfield is progressing steadily towards completion. The repairs, which had necessitated the closure of the Airfield to civil flight operations, as published in relevant Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS), are aimed at improving flight safety in accordance with global best practices as well as in line with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations.
In order to hasten completion of the work, repair activities are being conducted literally round the clock, both day and night. The scope of work covers removal of failed sealant and application of fresh sealant to the concrete slab joints of the Runway, taxiways and apron; resurfacing of cracked portions of the manoeuvring area as well as re-marking of the Runway, amongst others. Currently, the work has reached an advanced stage and is expected to be completed around January 2019.
Meanwhile, Team Delta, comprising personnel from 053 Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Camp and other field units in Abuja, has emerged the overall champion of the maiden edition of Headquarters (HQ) NAF Inter-Branch and Units Sports Competition. The 14-week long competition, which came to a close yesterday, 12 December 2018, at the NAF Base Sports Ground Abuja, featured 4 teams competing in various events including athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, football, golf, handball, judo, squash and swimming.
Other sporting events were table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, tug of war, volleyball and wrestling. Events featured during the closing ceremony included a Novelty Football Match between Team RSM and National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) Team, Tug-of-War between Teams Alpha and Charlie as well as athletics events such as male and female 200m dash, 4 x 100m Combat relay race, 4 x 400m Combat relay race between Teams Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta, with contestants keeping spectators spell-bound with their skills.
At the end of the keenly competed finals, Team Alpha, comprising personnel from the Training and Operations, Accounts and Budget and Medical Services Branches, came fourth with a total of 365 points. Team Bravo, composed of personnel from the Policy and Plans, Logistics, Communications Informations Systems and Air Secretary Branches, emerged third with 375 points. Team Charlie, consisting of personnel from the Administration, Aircraft Engineering and Standards & Evaluation Branches, placed second with 500 points, while Team Delta was adjudged the overall winner with a points haul of 740.
Speaking during the closing ceremony, the Special Guest of Honour, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans HQ NAF, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Muhammad Mohammed, noted the commitment and high premium the NAF places on sports and physical fitness of its personnel.
He therefore urged personnel and other participants to sustain the military culture of regular exercise for effective and efficient service delivery. He stated that the frequency of sporting activities would be increased in the coming year to provide more avenues for personnel to enhance their physical fitness while pointing out that the regular annual physical fitness test would be made more stringent with enhanced requirement for Body Mass Index (BMI) compliance. He ended his remarks by thanking the CAS for his pragmatic leadership style which had repositioned the NAF into a highly professional fighting force.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chief of Administration, HQ NAF, AVM Kingsley Lar, re-echoed the objective of the Wednesday Sports Competition which is to reinvigorate sporting activities and promote participation of personnel in sports for improved physical health and mental alertness. According to him, the competition was organized to foster inter-personnel esprit-de-corps as well as identify personnel that could be groomed to represent the NAF in future championships.