The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has received 21 special operation dogs which returned from South Africa on 6 August after receiving advanced training from the Paramount Group.
The dogs arrived along with their 20 NAF Canine (K-9) Unit handlers upon completing 13 weeks of advanced training in explosives ordinance detection (EOD), narcotics detection and special operations. The special operations training covered tracking, rappelling, waterman-ship and terrain training aimed at equipping both the dogs and handlers with requisite skills to operate alongside NAF Special Forces (SF) personnel in Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) and emergency disaster response situations.
The training that took place in South Africa was done by Paramount, which stated that the dogs are trained for maximum versatility and would most likely be deployed to support search and rescue efforts of emergency responders in disaster-relief situations in the West Africa region.
The NAF K-9 unit was established in 2016 by the incumbent Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and now has a total of 60 dogs.
According to the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the addition has significantly boosted the capacity of the unit for enhanced security at major Nigerian airports, NAF units and theatres of operation across the country.
Eric Ichikowitz, Senior Vice President of Paramount Group, earlier stated that, “We are very pleased to see the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) making great strides to become one of Africa’s elite combat forces. It is a privilege to be a partner of the NAF and we commend their leadership for bolstering the capabilities of the special operations forces and for mitigating hostile risks to critical assets.”