AIR MARSHAL NSIKAK E EDUOK (1996 – 1999)

 Nsikak Eduok

Nsikak Eduok

AIR MARSHAL NSIKAK E. EDUOK (1996 – 1999)

The twelfth Chief of the air Staff of NAF was Air Marshal Nsikak-Abasi Essien Eduok. He was born on 11 July 1947 at Mbak in Akwa Ibom State. He had his early education in Uyo after which he worked briefly with the Voice of Nigeria (VON), as a Studio Manager. He enlisted into the NAF as a potential pilot on 1 August 1968.

Air Marshal Eduok had his initial military training at the Nigerian Defence Academy after which he went for primary flying training in 1970. On completion of his primary training, he undertook the Basic Flying Training Course in 1971. He emerged as the best-all-round student pilot in both phases. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in February 1971.

Air Marshal Eduok attended several professional and staff courses both at home and overseas. These include the Advanced and Tactical Flying Training Course, between 1971 and 1973; the Aircraft Accident Investigation Course in the USA between 1974 and 1975; the MiG-21 Conversion Course in the Soviet Union in 1975; the Advanced Staff Course in the United Kingdom in 1976; and the Command and Staff College, Jaji in 1981. Between 1983 and 1986 he undertook flying courses on the MB-339 in Italy and the L-39 in the then Czechoslovakia. In 1991, he was at the USAF Air War College from where he graduated in 1992. As a combat pilot, he flew several aircraft types in Nigeria and overseas.

Among these are the L-29, the L-39, the MiG 15 and 17, the MiG 21 and the MB-339. He also served in various capacities in several units within the NAF. He was the first Operations Officer of the Strike Group, Makurdi, between 1975 and 1976. He was also Commanding Officer, NAF Station Enugu, and the first Commander of the 75 Fighter Squadron. He commanded the 301 and 303 Flying Training Schools at Kaduna and Kano respectively, as well as the NAF Stations in Makurdi and Kainji. Between 1986 and 1987, he served as a Directing Staff at the Command and Staff College, Jaji. In 1989, he was appointed Director of Plans at HQ NAF and subsequently Director of Operations in 1990. A year later, he became the Air Officer Commanding Training Command, as well as a member of the Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC). Air Marshal Eduok also held some nonmilitary appointments among which are: Member, Governing Council, Bayero University (BUK) Kano (1984-1986) and NAF representative on the National Boundaries Commission (1989-1991).

On 27 August 1993, he was appointed CAS, but the appointment was reversed a week later by the then military government. On 6 September 1994, he was redeployed as AOC TAC and also appointed a memberof the Provisional Ruling Council (PRC). On 20 March 1995, he was appointed a member of the Federal Executive Council as Honourable Minister for Aviation. He was in this position till his reappointment as CAS on 30 March 1996.

During his tenure as CAS, Eduok made extensive efforts at jump-starting flying training which by this time had gone very low at the various schools. It was also his administration that procured the first attack helicopter for the NAF. His tenure, which coincided with the era of the Presidential Task Force projects, also saw to the building of the NAF mini Barracks in Abuja, and notable improvements on personnel accommodation and welfare in general. In an effort to promote the welfare of aircrew and their morale, his administration ensured a review and significant improvement on aircrew flying allowances. The Eduok Administration was the first to explore the possibility of carrying out periodic depot maintenance of NAF aircraft within the country, which was conducted on 2 NAF C-130 aircraft.

Air Marshal Eduok received several awards and medals including the National, Defence, Independence and Republic Medals. The NAF also honoured him with the Distinguished Service Star and the Meritorious Service Star Medals. He holds an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Humanities from the Cornerstone University and Seminary, Israel.

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