PRESIDENT EDGAR LUNGU COMMISSIONS ZAF FLIGHT SIMULATOR CENTRE

I AM ONCE AGAIN HONOURED TO GRACE THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THIS CUTTING EDGE TRAINING SIMULATOR CENTRE HERE AT ZAMBIA AIR FORCE (ZAF), LUSAKA BASE, CONSTRUCTED BY CHINA NATIONAL AERO-TECHNOLOGY IMPORT AND EXPORT CORPORATION (CATIC) WHO HAVE REMAINED OUR FAITHFUL PARTNER.

NOT SO LONG AGO, I WAS HERE TO OFFICIALLY OPEN ANOTHER STATE OF THE ART FACILITY, THE L-15 HANGAR, CONSTRUCTED BY CATIC, A COMPANY UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF AVIATION INDUSTRY CORPORATION (AVIC).

TODAY, I AM HAPPY TO GRACE THE OPENING OF THIS ULTRA MODERN THREE-STOREY SIMULATION CENTRE AIMED AT BUILDING PILOTS’ CRAFT AND CONFIDENCE THROUGH COST EFFECTIVE, SAFE AND YET REALISTIC TRAINING METHODS ON HIGHLY COMPUTERISED AND TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED L-15 FIGHTER GROUND ATTACK AIRCRAFT.

THE ACQUISITION OF SMART TECHNOLOGY AND ASSETS WHICH GUARANTEE OPERATIONAL CAPABILITY WITHOUT COMPROMISING STANDARDS, IS IN LINE WITH THE ZAMBIA AIR FORCE’S VISION OF CREATING “A LEAN, WELL EQUIPPED, WELL TRAINED, PROFESSIONAL AND EFFICIENT TACTICAL AIR FORCE, CAPABLE OF RESPONDING TO THE AIR POWER NEEDS OF THE 21ST CENTURY ZAMBIA.”

IT IS GRATIFYING TO NOTE THAT SYSTEMS IN THE SIMULATOR CENTRE ARE CAPABLE OF MONITORING THE AIRCRAFT FROM THE GROUND AND MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR GROUND CREW TO EASILY DETECT FAULTS AND RECTIFY THEM.

I ALSO NOTE THAT TRAINING CAN BE DONE ON THE GROUND WITHOUT TAKING TO THE AIR, HENCE SAVING ON FUEL.

INDEED, THIS COST EFFECTIVE FACILITY IS PROGRESSIVE AND IT ENHANCES THE SAFETY OF OUR PILOTS AND AIRCRAFT, THEREBY REDUCING EXPENDITURE ON UNNECESSARY PROCUREMENT OF AIRCRAFT.

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS;

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

THE WORLD IS BECOMING MORE TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED BRINGING WITH IT NEW SECURITY RISKS. WITH ZAMBIA’S GROWING ECONOMY COUPLED WITH HUGE INVESTMENTS FROM LOCAL AND FOREIGN INVESTORS, THE NEED FOR MODERN DEFENCE SYSTEMS CANNOT BE OVEREMPHASISED.

IN THIS REGARD, THE PATRIOTIC FRONT GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED TO EQUIPPING THE DEFENCE FORCES WITH MODERN EQUIPMENT TO ENABLE THEM ADDRESS NEW SECURITY CHALLENGES EFFICIENTLY AND COMPETENTLY. UNDOUBTEDLY, THIS NEW FACILITY IS A MILESTONE AND A SHOW OF MY GOVERNMENT’S COMMITMENT TO MAKING A SMART ZAMBIA.

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT IS ONE OF MY GOVERNMENT’S PRIORITY AS HIGHLIGHTED IN THE VISION 2030 AND THE SEVENTH NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2017-2021.

INFRASTRUCTURE IS CENTRAL TO OUR COUNTRY ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. IT IS FOR THIS REASON THAT MY GOVERNMENT WILL ENSURE THAT WE HAVE CUTTING EDGE INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE ZAMBIA AIR FORCE IN LINE WITH OUR MORDERNISATION PROGRAMME.

THE ZAF AMBITIOUS PROGRAMME HAS SEEN THE CONSTRUCTION OF OFFICE BUILDINGS, AIRCRAFT HANGARS, MESSING FACILITIES AND ROAD TARRING IN ZAF BASES AMONG OTHERS.

MY GOVERNMENT HAS SINCE ENGAGED THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO SUPPORT PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THE PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP (PPP) AS ALTERNATIVE FINANCING FOR THIS PROGRAMME. THE ZAF TWINPALM PPP PROJECT WHICH COMPRISES THE CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL AMENITIES AND COMMERCIAL FACILITIES FOR THE PERSONNEL AS WELL AS THEIR FAMILIES IN THE BASE IS ONE SUCH EXAMPLE.

THE PROJECT STARTED ON A SLOW NOTE BUT IS NOW GAINING MOMENTUM AND WILL SOON BE COMPLETED, AND REPLICATED IN OTHER AIR FORCE BASES AROUND THE COUNTRY.

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS;

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

LET ME TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO COMMEND CATIC FOR FACILITATING THIS STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGY AND FOR EXHIBITNG PROFESSIONALISM OVER THE YEARS. CATIC HAS INDEED BEEN A COMMITTED PARTNER TO THE ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT IN ITS PROJECTS OF MODERNISING AND EQUIPPING THE SECURITY AND DEFENCE WINGS.

I AM HAPPY THAT THE NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN ZAF HAS BEEN COUPLED WITH SPECIALIST TRAINING OF OUR PILOTS, ENGINEERS, TECHNICIANS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGISTS, WHO HAVE UNDERGONE TRAINING IN CHINA. I IMPLORE CATIC TO ENHANCE SKILLS TRANSFER PROGRAMMES WITH ZAF AS THIS WILL TREMENDOUSLY BENEFIT OUR COUNTRY AS A WHOLE.

I ALSO WISH TO PAY GLOWING TRIBUTE TO CATIC FOR BEING ACTIVE IN ITS CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY BY RENDERING SUPPORT TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE ZAF HOSPITAL OUT-PATIENT-DEPARTMENT (OPD) AT AIR FORCE HEADQUARTERS WHICH I OFFICIALLY OPENED LAST YEAR. THIS INCLUDES SUPPORT TOWARDS CONSTRUCTION OF THE BANQUET HALL HERE AT ZAF LUSAKA AIR FORCE BASE.

AIR FORCE COMMANDER:

I WISH TO CONGRATULATE YOU ON THESE MILESTONES AND URGE YOU TO ENSURE THAT ALL ZAF PERSONNEL DILIGENTLY LOOK AFTER THIS EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT.

IT IS MY SINGULAR HONOUR TO DECLARE THE L-15 SIMULATOR TRAINING CENTRE OFFICIALLY OPEN.

THANK YOU

GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

 

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