Twenty personnel and 20 dogs of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Canine (K-9) Unit are currently undergoing advanced training in South Africa to enhance their capacity in the areas of Explosives Ordinance Detection (EOD), Narcotics Detection and Special Operations.
The Special Operations training covers tracking, rappelling, waterman-ship and other special terrain training aimed at equipping members of the Unit with requisite skills to operate with NAF Special Forces (SF) personnel in Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) situations where they would be required to rescue downed aircrew, especially in denied environments.
The special operations dogs would also be employed to support emergency responders in times of disasters to locate survivors.
At the end of the training, some of the personnel would be deployed as instructors at the newly established Air Police Training Centre (APTC) Kerang, Plateau State.
The APTC’s location in Kerang is expected to enhance coordination of CSAR activities and training with the 205 CSAR Group, which is also based in Kerang.
The NAF K-9 Unit was established in 2016 by the incumbent Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
Under his leadership the Unit has grown steadily over the last 4 years to a total of 39 well-trained dogs deployed at major Nigerian Airports, NAF Units and Theatres of Operation across the Country.