The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it has trained 20 military working dogs and canine handlers in special military operations.
Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar , announced this at the graduation ceremony of the special forces in Kaduna State.
He said the training will help to boost security in airports, Air force bases and other critical assets across the country.
The Air force personnel have undergone a 13-week intensive advanced K-9 training, with 10 weeks of the training conducted at the Paramount K-9 facility overseas, and another 3 weeks training conducted locally.
Among the 20 dogs and handlers who graduated, 10 were trained in explosive detection and 5 in narcotics detection, while 5 dogs were trained for special operations; the first of its kind in Nigeria.
The ceremony features practical demonstration of the capabilities of the Military Working Dogs and their handlers which includes explosive ordinance and narcotics detection, tracking and arrest of suspects in simulated built-up areas as well as rappelling of a dog and handler from a helicopter, which was executed by one of the female graduating dog handlers.
Awards were also presented to graduating dogs and handlers who distinguished themselves during the course.
The Chief of Air Staff, expresses the expectation that the handlers, along with their dogs, having undergone intensive advanced training must endeavour to add value wherever they are deployed.
The air force boss adds that some of the dogs will soon be deployed alongside NAF Regiment Specialty to conduct training exercises on some identified flashpoints such as the Kaduna-Abuja and Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Highways as well as locations in the Southwest part of the Country.