Editor's Comment

Government walks the Smart Zambia talk

PRESIDENT Lungu with Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Commander Lieutenant General Eric Chimese (left) and Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming at ZAF in Lusaka yesterday. PICTURES: KACHA MIYOBA/ZANIS

THE construction of a cutting edge training simulation centre at the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) headquarters is yet another confirmation of Government’s commitment to keeping Zambia, and defence forces in particular, abreast with modern infrastructure and technology.

It is evidence that the PF government is walking the “Smart Zambia” talk.
President Lungu yesterday opened an ultra-modern three-storey simulation centre aimed at boosting pilots’ craft and confidence through cost-effective, safe and realistic training methods on highly computerised and technologically advanced L-15 fighter ground attack aircraft.
It is gratifying that the simulator centre is well-equipped with highly advanced systems with capability to monitor aircraft from the ground, making it possible for ground crew to easily detect faults and rectify them.
The simulation centre is also cost-effective as training of pilots and other aircraft experts can be done on the ground without taking to the air, thereby saving on fuel.
During the official opening, President Lungu said the acquisition of the smart technology and assets, which guarantee operational capability without compromising the standards, is in line with ZAF’s vision of creating a lean, well-equipped, well-trained, professional and efficient tactical Air Force capable of responding to the country’s air power needs of the 21st century.
It is particularly heartening that Government is making steady progress in equipping the defence forces considering that not too long ago, another state-of-the-art facility, the L-15 hanger, was opened at ZAF headquarters.
These efforts are indeed timely and commendable.
Given that the world is becoming more technologically advanced and opening up to new security risks, the need to modernise defence systems cannot, therefore, be over-emphasised.
It is inevitable that our defence forces are well-equipped to be able to handle any security challenge regardless of the magnitude and complexity.
Government should, therefore, be commended for walking the talk by fulfilling its promises.
Government, under the leadership of President Lungu, has committed to ensuring that the country does not lag behind in terms of modern infrastructure and technological advancement.
This is because Government, under the leadership of President Lungu, acknowledges that infrastructure is central to achieving sustainable socio-economic development.
It is for this reason that Government has prioritised infrastructure development as highlighted in the Vision 2030 and the Seventh National Development Plan.
It is no doubt in the interest of national development to have modern and well-functioning infrastructure across all sectors, including defence.
We, therefore, commend Government for embarking on an ambitious ZAF infrastructure programme, which has also seen the construction of office buildings, aircraft hangers, messing facilities and road tarring in bases.
This will indisputably go a long way in not only equipping but also boosting the image of the defence force and motivating personnel.
Government, through partnership with the private sector, has done a commendable job so far in terms of providing modern infrastructure for the defence force.
As the President rightly said, it is now up to ZAF personnel to look after this expensive infrastructure for it to serve its intended purpose and over a long period of time.

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