Defence Chief, Air Chief Emphasize on Importance of Physical Fitness for Combat Readiness

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Gwabin Musa and Chief of the Air Staff have emphasized the Importance of Physical Fitness for Combat Readiness among military personnel. 

The Defence Chief said that the sporting event, which was designed to sharpen the physical fitness, mental alertness and skills of Air Force personnel, is essential for combat readiness in the light of current security challenges.

General Musa who was a special guest of honour stated this at the Nigerian Air Force Combat Sports Event, which is one of the key activities lined up to mark the Nigerian Air Force’s Sixtieth Anniversary celebrations in Abuja. 

General Musa said the level of sportsmanship exhibited and the display of camaraderie during this keenly contested activities further gives credence to the premium place on sports by the armed forces of Nigeria and its efforts towards enhancing the combat readiness of personnel”.

He noted that the Nigerian Air Force places a high premium on sporting activities through avenues such as the annual ten-kilometer work, drug route matches, annual fitness test program and the just concluded combat sports.

In his remarks, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, said having sound physical and mental health is even more imperative for the armed forces, who are charged with the onerous responsibility of protecting the territorial integrity of the nation and safeguarding lives and property. 

According to the Air Chief, Sports and exercise are very important and irreplaceable aspects of our lives, owing to their immense benefits to our physical health and mental well-being.

He noted that the active participation in sports enables us to keep physically fit while providing the much-needed outlet to cope with the rigours of military duty. More so, sports provide a basis for teamwork that is needed for troops to be able to function with the necessary cohesion during peacetime military engagements and combat operations.

"As we all know, warfare is a gruelling experience and the ability to advance long distances with full combat gear through rugged terrains and to fight effectively requires strength, agility and stamina from troops. This can only be conditioned through combat sports and rigorous physical fitness training. 

"Hence, active participation in combat sports helps to provide both physiological and psychological benefits that reduce stress, illness and injuries, especially during operations. Accordingly, physical fitness and mental alertness of personnel have become key considerations for the armed forces to meet the increasing demands of current and emerging threats."he added

Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, stressed that the Nigerian Air Force has continued to prioritize the participation of our personnel in sporting activities. "Accordingly, we are sustaining efforts to enhance the standard and quality of sports and sporting facilities in our Bases to improve the overall health, well-being and morale of our personnel. 

"The construction of this new modern Sports Complex here at Nigerian Air Force Base, Asokoro speaks to our resolve to ensure that our personnel have befitting sports facilities to keep them physically and mentally healthy for our operations. 

"While we plan to upgrade the sporting facilities across all Nigerian Air Force Bases soon, we have commenced the construction of new sporting facilities at our operational bases in Bauchi, Katsina, Maiduguri and Minna. Overall, the afore-mentioned efforts are in a bid to “maintaining a highly motivational force by enhancing welfare and infrastructural renewal” which is a key enabler of my Command Philosophy of “transforming the Nigerian Air Force into an agile and resilient force that effectively meets the airpower demands of national security in all operational environments”.

The Overall winner of the Combat Sports Event, was headquarters NAF, while the Ground Training Command and Logistics Command came second and third respectively.

Participants at the sporting event and parade of honour which, took place under heavy downpour, saw the various contingents of NAF Commands as participants – Tactical Air Command, Ground Training Command, Air Training Command, Special Operations Command, Logistics Command, Mobility Command and NAF Headquarters team. 

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