The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) yesterday, 14 May 2018, unveiled its new Base in Kerang, Plateau with the commissioning of newly constructed office and residential accommodations for the 205 Combat Search and Rescue Group (CSARG). The newly commissioned projects include the Group Headquarters Complex, a 10 x one-bedroom accommodation for Non-Commissioned Officers and a 6 x one-bedroom Single Officers’ Quarters. Other commissioned projects include the Commander’s Official Residence and a 4 x 2-bedroom residential accommodation for Senior Non-Commissioned Officers serving in the Unit.
The commissioned projects were in fulfilment of the promise made by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, during the Ground Breaking Ceremony of the new Unit on 7 March 2017, to ensure timely and adequate provision of infrastructural facilities for the smooth commencement of operation by the Unit. The 205 CSARG, which had been operating from Jos since its establishment one and half years ago, will now commence operation from the new Base in Kerang.
While commissioning the projects, the Guest of Honour and Governor of Plateau State, Barrister Simon Lalong, commended the CAS for ensuring the provision of the new facilities barely a year after the Ground Breaking Ceremony. The Governor noted that the commissioning of the Base was a further testimony of the Federal Government’s resolve to ensure security of the citizenry and maintain peaceful co-existence.
Speaking further, Barrister Lalong said that the establishment of the Special Operations Command and the commissioning of projects at 205 CSARG Kerang was a glowing evidence of the commitment of the NAF leadership to the welfare of its personnel and a reflection of its determination to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria. He added that the unwavering desire of the CAS to make the NAF the best Air Force in Africa was no doubt yielding the desired dividends. The Governor noted that the strategic location of the Unit in Kerang would not only shorten its response time to emergencies but would also improve the turnaround time at providing combat search and rescue for troops and citizens in distress.
In his address, the CAS disclosed that the 205 CSARG in Kerang was established to provide aid and operational assistance to wounded and distressed troops serving in combat units. He then used the occasioned to appreciate the laudable generosity of the Governor and the Kerang Community for the provision of 100 hectares of land for the establishment of the new Base. Air Marshal Abubakar also seized the opportunity to reiterate the NAF’s commitment to the welfare of its personnel and to the wellbeing of members of its host community, as part of its efforts to promote cordial civil-military relations.
He, therefore, assured that in due course, the NAF would establish a hospital as well as primary and secondary schools to cater for the healthcare and educational needs of personnel and members of the host community. He then promised that the NAF would continue to provide adequate security in the State while maintaining a harmonious relationship with the citizens.
Dignitaries at the occasion included the Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Prof Sonnie Tyoden and a former CAS, retired Air Marshal Jonah Wuyep.