The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao has charged Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operational Commanders in the various theatres of operation across the country to ‘show no mercy’ and ensure they employ maximum firepower against terrorists posing security threats in the country.
While commending them for their efforts as well as the improved synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, Air Marshal Amao also underscored the need for effective allocation and utilization of all NAF platforms deployed for operations in the Northwest and Northcentral for enhanced operational effectiveness.
Doing so, according to the CAS, will deny the terrorists freedom of movement while boosting the confidence of the populace and ensuring a peaceful country. Air Marshal Amao made these assertions when he met with frontline Air Officers Commanding (AOC) and Air Component Commanders (ACCs) at the NAF Base yesterday in Kaduna.
Speaking further, the CAS noted that though the security environment remains fluid and uncertain with terrorists moving between the northeast, northwest and north central, the need to continually modify NAF’s air power strategies to stay ahead of the asymmetric and unconventional nature of terrorists’ activities is of paramount importance.
According to him, ‘We have a responsibility to secure our nation and give our citizens a sense of hope, trust and belonging. Therefore, we must ensure that we stay ahead of the enemy and envisage his next line of action.’ He then charged them to show no mercy against any terrorist and their accomplices while also denying them the freedom of movement and ease to cause mayhem against innocent Nigerians.
Air Marshal Amao then assured them that training of more combat pilots, imagery analysts and other specialties in the NAF would continue to be of utmost priority so as to address the manpower challenges within the operation areas.
He went on to state that efforts were at an advanced stage to procure more combat platforms for the NAF to meet the ever-increasing demands of air assets in various theatres of operations across the nation.
Other issues addressed during the interface included the need to ensure a speedy procurement circle of aircraft spares to minimise aircraft downtime amongst other issues.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has commended personnel of the 271 Nigerian Air Force Detachment (271 NAF Det) Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State for the recent successes recorded against armed bandits and other criminal elements within their Area of Responsibility (AOR), including the neutralization of several armed bandits at Pole Waya along the Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Road the preceding night.
The CAS however tasked them not to relent in their efforts but sustain the momentum of operations in order to restore peace to the affected areas, for inhabitants go about their normal businesses without fear.
“I am happy to note that this Unit neutralized some bandits yesterday while carrying out its constitutionally assigned task. We must continue to fight until our beloved citizens are able to go about their daily activities and live freely.
“It is our obligation to professionally perform our roles to protect our dear Country from both terrorism and armed banditry”, the CAS said.
Air Marshal Abubakar gave the commendation and charge today, 8 July 2020, while on an operational visit to Birnin Gwari where he also commissioned the newly constructed internal road network as well as a block of 20 x one bedroom transit accommodation for airmen, which is expected to pave way for the deployment of additional personnel to beef up the manpower disposition of the Unit.
Speaking further, Air Marshal Abubakar noted that the current NAF leadership has not only consistently sought to evolve strategies that would enable the Service adequately project air power to effectively and efficiently deal with prevalent security threats, but has also accorded personnel welfare utmost priority.
This, he said, was in recognition of the pivotal role that the welfare of the human component of any security architecture plays in ensuring operational efficiency. The CAS remarked that the commissioning ceremony symbolized yet another demonstration of his commitment towards enhancing human capacity for efficient performance.
While noting that the NAF’s air offensives against bandits and other criminals in on-going internal security operations in Niger, Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto States had contributed greatly to the achievements of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Air Marshal Abubakar re-emphasized that there was no time to relent but rather to intensify operations to ensure total defeat of the bandits.
He said the 271 NAF Det Birnin Gwari, working in concert with sister Services and other security agencies, would continue to play a crucial role in this regard to arrest the dynamic security challenges within its AOR.
The CAS, therefore, commended the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command (AOC SOC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Charles Ohwo, the Commander 271 NAF Det, Wing Commander Steven Sekegor, as well as the officers and men of the Detachment for their efforts, whilst urging them to justify the resources being expended by the Government by working round the clock to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.
He also commended the NAF Directorate of Works for the effective execution of virtually all the infrastructural projects in the Detachment, including the new residential accommodations and road network, through direct labour; noting that 30 additional Special Forces personnel had already been posted to the Unit and would soon report to further boost the operations of the detachment.
The CAS further reiterated the commitment of the Service towards ensuring that accommodation problems are eradicated. He however urged the beneficiaries to utilize the new facilities with a high sense of responsibility whilst endeavoring to maintain the highest level of professionalism and regimentation in their daily conduct.
While expressing his gratitude to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his unending support to the Service towards the achievement of its statutory mandates, Air Marshal Abubakar seized the opportunity to assure all Nigerians of the NAF’s unwavering commitment to ensuring a safer and more secure Nigeria.
Speaking earlier, the AOC SOC expressed appreciation to the CAS for his relentless efforts at ensuring the provision of conducive living and working environments for NAF personnel. He said this had greatly enhanced personnel performance, morale, and service delivery. He assured the CAS of the dedication and unalloyed commitment of all officers, airmen, and airwomen of Units under the SOC to dealing decisively with all criminal elements within the Command’s AOR.
Before departing Birnin Gwari, the CAS, who was accompanied on the visit by the Chief of Training and Operations, AVM James Gwani, and the Chief of Logistics, AVM Mohammed Yakubu, the AOC Air Training Command, AVM Musa Mukhtar, as well as other senior officers from the NAF Headquarters, held a brief closed-door meeting with the Commander 271 NAF Det as well as the Air Component Commanders for Operations GAMA AIKI and THUNDER STRIKE.
Dignitaries at the commissioning ceremony included the Representative of the Chairman of Birnin Gwari Local Government Area as well as heads of paramilitary and security agencies in Birnin Gwari.
The Nigerian Air Force says it has Intercepted and destroyed two trailers suspected to be carrying logistics support to members of the Boko Haram sect.
The Nigerian Air Force in a statement by its spokesman, Air Commodore Dele Alonge, explained that Air Force Agusta helicopter on armed reconnaissance mission around the Nigeria-Cameroon border, destroyed the trailers said to have been covered and parked at different locations in the bush around the border town of Belel.
Greatly Strained Supply
The incident is part of the outcome of the recent air operation commanded by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to provide close air support to ground forces led by the Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, as they advance from Dikwa to Gamboru Ngala.
He added that one of the attack helicopters was hit during the operation, leaving one of the main rotor blades damaged, but the pilot was able to successfully fly the helicopter back to base to land.
Also, the Director, Public Relations and Information of the Nigerian Air Force, Dele Alonge, said patrols along the Nigeria-Cameroon borders “have greatly strained the supply efforts of the Boko Haram terrorists”.