Paramount K9 Solutions has started training personnel from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), who will graduate as specialised Canine Unit operatives.
Paramount said the training, which began this week in South Africa, will enhance the NAF’s special operations, explosive ordinance detection (EOD) and narcotics detection capabilities.
The Special Operations training will cover tracking, rappelling, waterman-ship and other special terrain exercises, meant to equip operatives with the skills necessary to execute a variety of missions alongside the NAF Special Forces (SF). Through these exercises, K-9 Units will also become parts of SF Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), where their skills would be used to rescue downed aircrew in conflict zones and other high-risk environments.
Paramount said the special operations dogs are trained for maximum versatility, and will also likely be deployed to support the search and rescue efforts of emergency responders in disaster-relief situations in the West Africa region.
Eric Ichikowitz, Senior Vice President of Paramount Group, 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.”
Some of the NAF personnel will be trained to become instructors themselves and will serve in this role at the Air Police Training Centre (APTC) located in Kerang, Plateau State, Nigeria. The supports the NAF’s CSAR activities and training with the 205 CSAR Group, which is based in Kerang.
In 2016, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, the incumbent Chief of Nigeria’s Air Staff, pioneered the establishment of the original NAF K-9 Unit, which has grown steadily over the last four years.
“Ongoing developments and enhancements in K-9 Unit special operations training is the direct result of Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar’s tireless efforts, which we applaud,” Ichikowitz said.
Paramount said a large number professionally trained dogs have been deployed throughout major Nigerian airports, NAF units and in theatres of operation across the country.
Paramount has been working with Nigeria for a number of years, and recently delivered Marauder armoured vehicles to the Nigerian Air Force Regiment, the land force component of the Nigerian Air Force.
Nigeria’s Marauders are fitted with the King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) Snake Head turret with a 7.62mm machine gun. Paramount and Jordan’s KADDB have worked together on vehicles in the past, with KADDB fitting its turrets to a number of Paramount vehicles, including the Mbombe.
Paramount Group subsidiary Paramount Maritime received orders for dozens of rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) in 2018 in a multipurpose effort by the Nigerian Navy to defend its blue economy and coastline, for the continued military training of its Special Forces, rescue and patrol operations and for the protection of the nation’s oil and gas assets.