On May 16, a flight safety team from U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAF) traveled to Abuja to conduct a five-day military exchange program to enhance the Nigerian Air Force’s operational safety.
The safety team visited the NAF Institute of Safety (NAFIS) in Ipetu-Ijesa, which was the first-ever U.S. Air Force visit there. NAFIS is the formal school for Nigerian Air Force officers that run unit safety programs and is responsible for maintaining a culture of safety throughout the service. After departing NAFIS, the team met with leadership and safety officers from a Nigerian Air Force transportation squadron to discuss the appropriate organizational structure of safety, safety reporting procedures, and the role of formal safety schools.
The United States has collaborated with the Nigerian Air Force, through USAFE-AFAF, on several safety related programs in the past. In August 2021, a USAFE-AFAF safety team visited the 307 Executive Airlift Group to assess the safety program and make recommendations. Shortly after, USAFE-AFAF taught a two-week formal safety course for 24 Nigerian Air Force officers. In return, USAFE-AFAF sent two participants of the safety course to the United States to attend a U.S. Air Force International Safety Program Officer’s Course at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.
The United States is dedicated to supporting the Nigerian Air Force in its efforts to improve its operational safety. This priority was reiterated by U.S. Mission Nigeria at this year’s “Country Coordination Meeting” between the U.S. and Nigerian militaries. Ambassador Leonard commended the Nigerian Air Force on their continued efforts saying, “Safety is a universal concern for all aviators, regardless of nationality or crew position, and the U.S. is proud to collaborate with the Nigerian Air Force to help promote a culture of safety.”