By Doris Esa
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says about 650 of its personnel will participate in the third edition of its up-coming Inter- Command Combat Sports Competition holding in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.
The Chairman, Organising Committee for the inter-Command Combat, Air Commodore Mfon Ekpo, disclosed this at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.
Ekpo said that the competition, which is dubbed: ‘Uyo 2018’ would hold from April 2 to April 7 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.
“‘The choice of Uyo is in recognition of the contributions of Akwa Ibom to the development of sports in Nigeria, as well as the availability of standard sporting facilities in Uyo stadium, ” he said.
” This year’s event remains the same symbol of regimentation as it is designed to test the combat readiness of personnel in a competitive manner, while also promoting participation in sporting activities for enhanced combat capability, he said.
He said that the last two editions of 2016 and 2017 NAF combat competitions organised under the leadership of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar, were successful.
The chairman said the objective of the event was to promote combat fitness and Espirit-de-Corps among the personnel.
He said that participants at the event would include personnel deployed to the ongoing counter insurgency operations in the North-East as well as other internal security operations across the Country.
Ekpo said that participants would be competing in various sporting events, including Combat Swimming,Combat Relay Race,Taekwando, Tug of War and Obstacle Crossing.
He said the competition would also feature a Shooting exercise at the shooting range of the Nigerian Army Barracks, Abak.
” Seven teams comprising Headquarters Nigerian Air Force, Tactical Air Command, Sporting Operations Command, Mobility Command, Air Training Command, Ground Training Command, Logistics Command as well as Direct Reporting Units are expected to produce participants that would compete in the outlined sporting events,” he said.
The chairman said that outstanding athletes would cart away medals with an opportunity to represent the NAF and the nation in future championships.
He said that the city of Uyo and its environs would witness considerable movement of troops and military equipment deployed for the competition within the scheduled period.
” The general public is therefore, urged not to panic or entertain any form of fear when they see movement of troops and equipment, in particular, the shooting exercise during the period.
” They are advised to go about their normal lawful businesses as adequate measures have been put in place to guarantee their safety,” he said.