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 Nigerian Air Force on Friday winged six new helicopter pilots who recently completed their basic flying training at Draken Helicopter Academy in the United Kingdom.
This is according to a statement signed by air force spokesperson Edward Gabkwet.
In his remark during the winging ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao reiterated the importance of the human factor as the most critical airpower component that must be enhanced and sustained for effective and efficient performance, the statement said.
“This, according to the CAS, gave reason for the increase in manpower development witnessed in the NAF in recent times,” the statement added.
Read the rest of the statement below:
He went on to state that these efforts are expected to place the Service in a dominant position to deliver on its constitutional role more effectively, especially in the light of NAF’s involvement in several internal security operations across the country.
The overall effect of these efforts, according to the CAS, is that the NAF, operating in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, will be better positioned to more effectively counter both domestic and foreign threats to the nation’s security and the wellbeing of our people.
Speaking further, Air Marshal Amao revealed that the NAF currently has a total of 195 officers and airmen/airwomen undergoing various training courses abroad cutting across several specialties and trades.
He also stated that locally, there are 12 student pilots undergoing Basic Fighter Training at 403 Flying Training School, Kano, while 10 others are undergoing Basic Transport Training at 401 Flying Training School, Kaduna. He emphasized that these courses are aimed at maintaining combat readiness by increasing the number of pilots to man existing aircraft, including the 26 new platforms acquired by the Federal Government in the past 6 years.
On the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, the CAS stated that about 60 NAF personnel, comprising pilots, engineers, technicians, and other specialists, have completed their training on the aircraft in the USA.
While encouraging the newly winged pilots, the CAS urged them not to rest on their oars as the feat they have achieved also comes with a burden of responsibility as so much is expected of them.
He also advised them to continue to give their best to the Service and the Nation.
Air Marshal Amao also used the opportunity of the ceremony to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support to the NAF.
Earlier, the Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) James Gwani, noted that the winging of the pilots further lends credence to one of the Key Drivers of the CAS, which is to “Pursue purposeful training and human capacity development’.
He added that the new pilots would undoubtedly further enhance NAF’s capacity for effective, efficient, and timely employment of air power in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives.
While giving the highlights of the courses, the CTOP stated that the Basic Flying Course 24B, which commenced from 27 February 20 to 20 June 21, included 3 phases: Basic Rotary Wing Phase, Operational Rotary Wing Phase and Conversion Phase.
The ceremony had in attendance Branch Chiefs of Headquarters NAF, Directors as well as relatives of the newly winged pilots.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has said that the first batch of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft have departed the United States of America en route to Nigeria.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Edward Gabkwet, in a statement on Thursday, said the fighter jets departed from the US on Wednesday and are expected in Nigeria anytime soon.
The statement was titled, ‘First Batch Of A-29 Super Tucano Aircraft Depart The United States Of America For Nigeria’.
“The six aircraft will be leapfrogged through 5 countries including Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Spain, and Algeria before arriving their final destination in Nigeria towards the end of July 2021.
“An official induction ceremony of the aircraft into the inventory of the Nigerian Air Force is already being planned at a later date in August 2021 to be announced in due course. The Office of the Director of Public Relations and Information remains open to any inquiry regarding the arrival and induction of the aircraft,” the statement partly reads.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has conducted a special search and rescue training for some of its personnel.
The training which held on Saturday is aimed at deepening the competence of operatives during combat operations.
The training exercise code-named “Taimako Yazo” was conducted on the Kaduna-Abuja expressway.
In his address, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, said personnel readiness was key to the success of any military operations in the country especially at this time in the nation’s history.
Abubakar recalled that in 2019 the NAF had conducted several counter-terrorism exercises in Kaduna, Kano, Niger, and Osun.
He said this was in a bid to further develop the capacity of its Special Operations Force, to be better positioned to respond to the various security challenges bedeviling the country.
“The overall desire is to ensure that our personnel are trained and equipped to maintain a very high level of combat readiness and operational effectiveness.
“This aspiration no doubt is in tandem with our yearning to reposition the NAF into a highly professional and disciplined force through capacity building initiatives for effective, efficient, and timely employment of airpower, in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives.
“Accordingly, today’s exercise which is based on a Combat Search and Rescue situation is designed to exercise the capacity of our personnel to rescue downed aircrew who have had to eject or abandon their aircraft in emergency situations.
“The importance of training to a fighting force like the NAF cannot be overemphasised as regular purposeful training remains the cornerstone of military combat readiness,” he added.
According to Abubakar, this will ensure that NAF personnel are always at top physical fitness level to be able, willing, and ready to execute any mission successfully.
“It is in realisation of this that the NAF ensures that its personnel are mentally alert and physically fit at all times through regular training and exercises to ensure that we remain continually willing, able, and ready to defend the nation,” he said.
The Air Chief stated that even with today’s modern weapon systems, it is the personnel with competence that would make the difference in any current or future conflict situations.
“This philosophy has been incorporated into the NAF policies and regulations to ensure that personnel maintains a high level of combat readiness that would ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the conduct of a wide spectrum of military operations.
“Accordingly, in the quest to achieve professionalism, service members are subjected to excruciatingly difficult training procedures and exposures to various terrain conditions to enable them to achieve and maintain a high level of combat effectiveness.
“This, no doubt, will help our personnel perform at the highest standards, throughout their career.
“By organising this exercise we are also mindful of the need to sustain professionalism among our personnel,” he said.
Abubakar lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support for the growth and development of the NAF.
He reassured Nigerians that the NAF remained fully committed to the successful execution of its constitutional roles and would continue to meet its statutory responsibility of defending the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation.
Earlier, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC), NAF Special Operations Command, AVM Charles Ohwo, said that the objective of the exercise was to rehearse the tactics and doctrine.
He added that it was also to create a synergy amongst first responders for effective combat search and rescue operations of downed aircrew or other NAF personnel.
The AOC said that the ability to rescue crew in hostile environment was particularly important, as it could be adapted in anti-kidnapping operations.
This, according to him, was recently used by the NAF in concert with other security agencies in the rescue of the 344 boys of the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State.
He said the exercise was a deliberate effort to boost human capacity, through robust and result oriented training for enhanced professional performance.
“The cliché of sweating more in training to bleed less in battle underscores the essence of this exercise.
“Hence, the event will enhance NAF combat efficiency, bearing in mind that combat efficiency is born from the right combinations of man and machine, as well as competent methods.
“Even more pertinent is that this event is in consonance with the CAS vision to reposition the NAF into a highly professional and disciplined force through capacity building initiatives for effective, efficient, and timely employment of airpower, in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives.
“The timing for this event could, therefore, not have been more apt as the NAF is currently engaged in counter-insurgency and anti-banditry operations in the North-East and North-West of Nigeria respectively.
“Notwithstanding tactics and doctrine, the event will enable our personnel to imbibe regimentation and fully appreciate the need for effective Air-Ground Integration,” he said.
In its resolve to ensure the availability of well-trained pilots to prosecute the ongoing war against insurgency, banditry, and other forms of criminality in the country, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) today, 10 September 2020, graduated additional 29 student pilots who have completed their ab-initio flying training at the 401 Flying Training School (401 FTS), Kaduna.
The graduating students, who are members of 66 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), comprising 27 male and 2 female officers, commenced training as flight cadets of NDA on 7 January 2019 as members of Student Pilots Course 46 (SP 46). With today’s graduation, the NAF has successfully graduated 145 student pilots from 401 FTS in the last 5 years.
While congratulating the graduands of SP 46 for withstanding the rigours, hard work, and stress associated with the training, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stated that his Administration’s drive to continually develop the adequate capacity for effective, efficient and timely employment of Air Power in response to national security imperatives remains on course.
The CAS noted that SP 46 had successfully conducted their flying training on both the Diamond 40 and Super Mushshak aircraft types, which according to him, was a positive deviation from what was obtainable in the past.
The feat, he said, would not have been achieved if not for the dedication of the ground instructors, instructor pilots as well as prompt and effective aircraft maintenance and availability of aviation fuel which ensured qualitative training.
Air Marshal Abubakar enjoined the graduands to maintain the same attitude of dogged determination as they proceed to the next phase of military flying training while reminding them that there is more work to be done to earn their wings.
He charged them to continue to exhibit the right aptitude and attitude as well as determination in order to improve their flying skills.
“You must continually develop survival skills and be prepared to safely navigate platforms most especially at night and in all weather conditions” he added.
The CAS further stated that at the inception of his Administration in 2015, 401 FTS had only 3 Diamond-40 platforms for the conduct of flying training.
The grossly inadequate number and the unsuitability of the platform for aerobatics and other unusual manoeuvres, he said, significantly diminished the ability of the NAF to conduct military flying training.
“Today, we have 15 platforms with a wide range of capabilities enabling quality training.
This has empowered 401 FTS to train a total of 145 student pilots from the end of 2015 to date. Additionally, 24 Instructor Pilots and 15 UAV pilots have also been trained within the same period.
These numbers represent the attainment of a remarkable feat that had previously eluded the NAF”, he said. The CAS, therefore, commended the Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command (AOC ATC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Musa Mukhtar, as well as the Commander 401 FTS, Air Commodore Ahmed Idris, and his entire staff for their efforts in realizing this feat.
The CAS also thanked the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his continued support and belief in the ability of the NAF. He noted that the timely provision of the much-needed air assets, as well as the resources to buy spares, aviation fuel, and other consumables by the Federal Government, was the most important factor that has translated into the commendable achievements recorded by the Service.
Furthermore, he noted that the NAF’s ability to wing 114 pilots in the last 5 years has led to a vibrant application of Air Power in combating the security challenges facing the Country. According to him, the multiplier effect has been a boost especially in the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency efforts in the North East as well as the fight against armed banditry in the North West and North Central Zones of the Country.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Commander 401 FTS, while thanking the CAS for his unrelenting support to the Unit, stated that the Course was the first of its kind to have flown 2 different platforms; the Diamond 40 and Super Mushshak aircraft during the course of their training.
He said the Unit achieved such feat even when it had to contend with other demanding tasks.
The Commander noted that alongside the training of student pilots, the Unit is also actively involved in airlift/VIP flights as well as Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions in support of Operations THUNDER STRIKE and HADARIN DAJI against armed bandits in parts of North-West and North-Central Zones.
According to him, the student pilots began their training with ground academic phase, which lasted for a period of 16 weeks, followed by the various stages of the flying phase with all 29 of them successfully completing the course with satisfactory levels of airmanship.
One of the highlights of the colorful event, which also had the NAF Chief of Training and Operations, AVM James Gwani, as well as the Commandants of the NDA and Armed Forces Command and Staff College in attendance, was the presentation of certificates to the graduating students.
Awards were also presented to graduands who distinguished themselves on the Course, with Flying Officer Ja’afar Abdulkadir bagging both the Best in Academics as well as the Best All Round Student’s Awards, while Flying Officer Nicholas Egong clinched the Best in Flying Award.
The Executive Governor of Plateau State, Right Honourable Simon Bako Lalong, has commended the visionary leadership of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, as well as his outstanding diligence in the discharge of duties, which he said would surely transform the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to become the best Air Force in Africa.
“We are witnesses to the great attention the CAS has paid to the welfare and training of personnel of the NAF throughout the country. He has also ensured the acquisition of air platforms and other equipment necessary for the operations of the Force”, he said.
The Governor gave this commendation today, 9 September 2020, while commissioning some infrastructure projects for NAF personnel at the 205 Combat Search and Rescue Group (205 CSARG) and the newly established Air Provost Training Centre (APTC), at NAF Base Kerang, Mangu Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State.
The commissioned projects include 2 blocks of 10 x single bedroom furnished residential accommodation for airmen instructors and students of the APTC as well as an Officers’ Mess for officers of the 2 Units.
The Governor, who was also in Kerang in 2017 during the groundbreaking ceremony/commissioning of the 205 CSARG Headquarters Building, noted that the establishment of the Special Operations Command (SOC) and subsequent siting of the Group in Kerang were glowing evidences of the resolve, commitment, and determination of the Federal Government to ensure that law-abiding citizens are secured and peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians guaranteed.
He noted that the remarkable transformation that had taken place were also hallmarks of the CAS’ dynamic leadership. While highlighting that his Administration, with the cooperation of the Plateau citizens and support of the Federal Government and security agencies, had ensured the return of peace, he noted that there was a need for vigilance against merchants of crises who are always scheming to take the State to the dark days.
He, therefore, called on the good people of Plateau State and especially the Kerang Community, who generously acceded to the approval of this expanse of land for the Unit, to continue to maintain peaceful and harmonious coexistence in the interest of national security.
Governor Lalong further observed that prior to the establishment of 205 CSARG, the Plateau State Government already had a cordial working relationship with the NAF which, he said, played a significant role in tackling insecurity, promoting education, and delivering quality healthcare services to Plateau citizens.
He added that the establishment of the Group had widened the NAF’s participation in the consolidation of peace and security of the State, particularly in the rural areas.
He stated further that, as Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, he was aware of the deployments of NAF air assets and personnel not only to Plateau State and other parts of the North but to other parts of the Country where such challenges exist.
“On behalf of my colleagues, I register our appreciation to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, and the CAS for responding to our pleas promptly”, he added.
While urging personnel of the Service to continue to foster the high standards of good civil-military relations with host communities for which the NAF is known, the Governor reassured the CAS of his Administration’s commitment towards supporting the Service at all times.
In his remarks at the occasion, Air Marshal Abubakar, while lauding Governor Lalong’s continued demonstration of strong commitment to the security of the people of Plateau State, noted that the reason for establishing the 205 CSARG was primarily to further bring security closer to the people of the State.
He noted that this was in keeping with his Vision upon assumption of office in 2015 which was “To reposition the NAF into a highly professional and disciplined force through capacity building initiatives for effective, efficient and timely employment of airpower in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives”.
He further disclosed that, after assessing the structure of the Service, at the time it was observed that it was inadequate to properly actualize the Vision.
The CAS noted that deliberate steps were therefore taken to expand the organizational structure of the Service with the creation of 2 new Field Commands, the Special Operations Command (SOC) headquartered in Bauchi and the Ground Training Command (GTC) in Enugu, as well as several specialized Units, including those at Owerri in Imo State; Gusau in Zamfara State; Lafia in Nasarawa State; Agatu in Benue State, Gembu in Taraba State and Bauchi in Bauchi State.
Others, he said, included the NAF Detachment in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State; a Forward Operating Base in Damaturu, Yobe State; Quick Response Wing in Lafia, Nasarawa State as well as the newly established 203 Combat Reconnaissance Group in Gombe, Gombe State, and the 205 CSARG Kerang. The CAS noted that the upgraded structure has positioned the Service to more effectively ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians, working in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies.
Speaking further, the CAS stated that the NAF’s ability to realize the Vision had also been boosted by the immense support of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, which had enabled the Service to procure 22 brand new aircraft in the past 5 years, which were already deployed for operations in different parts of the Country. He equally disclosed that the NAF was also expecting 17 additional aircraft to be delivered before the end of the Year 2021.
The CAS noted that in order to effectively man these aircraft the Service had winged 114 new pilots since 2015, while another 103 student pilots were undergoing various levels of training to become qualified NAF pilots.
He further noted that the Service had trained over 2,000 new engineers and technicians with another 500 expected to graduate from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) by next week.
The CAS also noted that the Service had trained over 4,000 Regiment and Special Forces personnel to ensure the protection of its bases and air assets.
Air Marshal Abubakar emphasized that the overall objective was to ensure that the Service builds a robust capacity to ensure a secured, united, and prosperous Nigeria.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) SOC, Air Vice Marshal Charles Ohwo, noted that since the establishment of 205 CSARG in 2017, the NAF had continued to build capacity to ensure that the NAF has the capability for effective, efficient and timely CSAR missions.
He disclosed that after the first few personnel were trained abroad, the training of subsequent sets of CSAR was conducted locally at Kaduna and Ipetu-Ijesha, due to the high cost of foreign training.
These personnel, who he said, were capable of tracking, searching, locating, and rescuing occupants of downed combat aircraft or personnel in distress, were currently deployed to various Theatres of Operation across the Country.
The AOC added that for the Unit to effectively undertake its roles of medical and casualty evacuation, it needs to be strengthened and equipped with platforms, equipment, and highly-trained professionals. According to him, the CAS, being mindful of this, had authorized the execution of several projects, which he said, were at various stages of completion.
These, he said, included a standard 22-bed Medical Centre, which would not only cater to NAF personnel but also members of the host community and others who may be referred to the facility.
Also present at the event were the Plateau State Deputy Governor, Professor Sonny Theoden, and other top Government functionaries of the State, Traditional Rulers form Mangu LGA as well as the Commander Operation SAFE HAVEN, Branch Chiefs from the NAF Headquarters, AOC Ground Training Command and other senior military officers.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar on Saturday said the Nigerian Air Force is committed to ensuring the security of Nigerians so they can “pursue their legitimate aspirations without fear.”
The message was contained in a statement signed by NAF Spokesman, Ibikunle Daramola, and released after Abubakar inspected air maritime facilities in Benin-city.
According to the statement, Abubakar commended personnel of the 107 Air Maritime Group (107 AMG) in Benin for their contributions to the efforts of the NAF to ensure a secured Nigeria.
The Air Force chief also reiterated that the NAF, in collaboration with other security agencies, will continue to work round the clock to keep the country safe.
READ THE NAF’S FULL STATEMENT
NATIONAL SECURITY: CAS INSPECTS FACILITIES AT 107 AIR MARITIME GROUP BENIN, COMMENDS PERSONNEL FOR COMMITMENT TOWARDS ENSURING A SECURED NIGERIA
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, has commended personnel of the 107 Air Maritime Group (107 AMG) Benin for their contributions in the efforts of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to ensure a secured Nigeria. While making the commendation, the CAS also reiterated that the NAF, working in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, would continue to work round the clock so that Nigerians in every part of the country would be able to pursue their legitimate aspirations without fear. Air Marshal Abubakar made this commitment today, 29 August 2020, while on an operational visit to the 107 AMG to inspect facilities and infrastructure preparatory to the deployment of special mission aircraft to Benin as part of the Federal Government’s Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure aimed at comprehensively tackling insecurity in Nigeria’s territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), up to the Gulf of Guinea.
The CAS, who was accompanied by Branch Chiefs, Directors and other senior officers from the NAF Headquarters, was received on arrival in Benin by the Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command (AOC TAC), Air Vice Marshal Olusegun Philip. He was subsequently briefed on the activities of the 107 AMG by the Commander, Air Commodore Enebong Effiom, before proceeding to inspect the Aircraft Hangar and Taxiway, proposed site for Aircraft Shelters, Bulk Fuel Installation (BFI) facility as well as existing office and residential accommodations both within and outside the NAF Base, including the ongoing construction of a 30 x one bedroom accommodation for airmen.
In his remarks after the inspection, Air Marshal Abubakar expressed satisfaction with the contributions of the 107 AMG in the NAF’s efforts towards ensuring that Nigeria is secured. He noted that the ATR-42 aircraft, which operates from Benin, had been flying combat support missions all over the Country, including Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger States, amongst others. “As I speak to you now, the ATR-42 aircraft, NAF 930, is currently conducting missions in the North East of the Country. So clearly your Unit is contributing significantly to what we are doing to ensure that our country is secured and our people can pursue their legitimate aspirations without fear”, the CAS added.
Speaking further, Air Marshal Abubakar revealed that the purpose of his visit was to assess facilities and infrastructure for the imminent deployment of additional air assets to Benin by the Federal Government. “We are here to look at the infrastructure available and also identify gaps”, he said. “The Hangar facility is adequate. However, there will be need for aircraft shelters and some Ground Support Equipment in order to make the deployment possible”, he added. He further noted that many additional pilots, engineers and technicians, who, he said, had already been nominated for conversion training on the new aircraft, as well as force protection elements, comprising NAF Special Forces personnel, would also be deployed to Benin. He observed that additional office and residential accommodation would therefore be required. “Like I said, we have looked at all the infrastructure available, including office and residential accommodation, and we know that there are gaps. We will try to ensure that these gaps are bridged before the special mission aircraft will be deployed here”, he added.
Air Marshal Abubakar again commended the AOC TAC as well as the Commander and all personnel of the 107 AMG for ensuring that the ATR-42 aircraft remains serviceable to continue contributing its quota to the NAF’s operations all over the Country. He urged them to be prepared to provide the same kind of support to the special mission aircraft when it arrives, noting that the aircraft would undoubtedly add value to the security arrangements in Nigeria’s Maritime environment.
Before departing Benin, the CAS held a closed door interactive session with the officers, airmen and airwomen where he entertained questions and also received feedback as well as suggestions from them on how to move the Service forward for more effective and efficient service delivery.
IBIKUNLE DARAMOLA Air Commodore Director of Public Relations and Information Nigerian Air Force 29 August 2020
A building used as a meeting venue for Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP, has been destroyed by the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
The building being used by ISWAP fighters near Baga in Borno State was destroyed on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.
According to a spokesman for the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the attack was carried out after “series of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions confirmed that the building was being used as an assembly point by the terrorists”.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has established a hospital in Bama, a town in Borno State, formerly occupied by Boko Haram insurgents, as part of its medical outreach.
Bama is home to 25, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), consisting mostly women and kids.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, gave the state governor, Mr Kashim Shettima, a tour of the hospital, equipped to meet the health needs of the residents.
The Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the coordinating agency for humanitarian services in the state, believe that collaboration between sister agencies and support from the Nigerian Air Force medical team is responsible for the seamless defeat of malnutrition in the camp.
“The government of Borno State in conjunction with NEMA and the 31 NGOS working together were able to work together. So many tents have been built, water supply has improved and we now have two health facilities and food system has improved to meet the needs of this IDP camp.”
The health facility, initiated by the Nigerian Air Force in Bama, is an extension of the Dalori IDP camp in Maiduguri, which has been conducting surgeries for sick IDPS, at no cost, where necessary.
Explaining the vision behind the Air Force Medical Outreach, Air Chief Abubakar, said he believes that gaining the confidence of locals in the area of operations is key to winning the counter insurgency war.
Bama and Gwoza local councils of Borno State have the highest number of IDPS living in camps and the host communities.
Governor Kashim Shettima has assured that the state government is engaging in fruitful partnerships with the Presidential Initiative for rebuilding North East (PINE) and others, to facilitate the quick return of IDPS and closure of camps.
The Nigerian Air Force is a beneficiary of a N20 million grant from PINE, in support of its medical outreach.
Malnutrition among IDPs in Borno State was first reported in the unofficial camp in Bama Local Council Area.
A large part of the population of the IDPs in the Bama camp are former captives of the insurgents, who regained their freedom following intensive military operations.
At least 3, 000 malnourished persons, mostly kids, had to be evacuated to Maiduguri, the capital city for treatment and proper nutrition.
Nine weeks on, the narrative of the IDPS has changed, as they speak of changes in their diets and improved medicare.
Gohna Alkali, an IDP in the Bama camp said “we are no longer hungry, we now have food. We have doctors here taking care of us, and food and clothes we do not have any problems. They give us spaghetti for breakfast, rice and beans for lunch and semovita for dinner we are grateful to God”, he said.