The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has redeployed 36 Air Vice Marshals (AVMs) and 40 Air Commodores (Air Cdres) ) including some Branch Chiefs, Air Officers Commanding (AOCs), Commandants of Tri-Service Institutions, Directors and Commanders.
The appointments and redeployments, according to a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, followed the recent promotion of some senior officers to the next higher ranks as well as the retirement of some senior officers.
He explained that the move is a routine exercise aimed at further re-invigorating operational efficiency and enhancing service delivery.
“Branch Chiefs affected by the redeployment include AVM Oladayo Amao, the former Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP) Headquarters NAF (HQ NAF), who has now been appointed as the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP); while AVM James Gwani, the erstwhile AOC Special Operations Command (SOC), has been appointed as the new CTOP. Additionally, AVM Musibau Olatunji has been appointed as the new Chief of Aircraft Engineering (CAcE), while AVM Mohammed Idris has been appointed as the Chief of Administration (COA) HQ NAF.
Also redeployed are “AVM Abubakar Liman, the erstwhile Commandant of the Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (AFRC), Oshodi, who has now been appointed as Commandant Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji; AVM Kingsley Lar, the former COA HQ NAF, has been appointed as the Commandant of AFRC, Oshodi; while AVM Abdulganiyu Olabisi, the former AOC Logistics Command (LC) is now the Commandant, Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Kaduna.
The NAF noted that the new AOCs include: “AVM Olusegun Philip, who is now the AOC Tactical Air Command (AOC TAC) in Makurdi; AVM Charles Ohwo, the former AOC TAC, who is now the AOC SOC, Bauchi; AVM Ibukun Ojeyemi who has been appointed as the AOC Mobility Command (MC) in Yenagoa and AVM Musa Muktar who is the new AOC Air Training Command (ATC); while the former Commandant AFCSC, AVM Lawal Alao, is now the AOC LC, Ikeja.
Other senior officers redeployed include AVM Anderson Kassimu who is now the Managing Director NAF Properties Limited; AVM Mohammed Suleiman who is appointed as the Chief of Defence Policy and Plans (CDPP), Defence Headquarters (DHQ), AVM Tunde Awoyoola as Chief of Defence Transformation and Innovation, DHQ; AVM Ubrufi Uzezi as Deputy Chief of the Defence Space Administration and AVM Charles Otegbade to the Air Traffic Services Training Centre (ATSTC), Kaduna as Commandant.
“Also affected are AVM Idi Lubo who is now the Director of Policy HQ NAF, AVM Ayoola Jolasinmi who is appointed as Director of Operations, AVM Aliyu Pani as the Director of Administration and Air Commodore Abraham Adole as Director of Training, HQ NAF.
“Also redeployed is the former Commander 011 Presidential Air Fleet (011 PAF), AVM Hassan Abubakar who is now the Chief of Staff (COS) MC, Yenagoa. He is to be replaced by Air Commodore Abubakar Abdullahi while Air Commodore Simon Peter is to take over as the Commander 053 NAF Camp, Abuja and Air Commodore Razak Olanrewaju is appointed as the new Commander 651 Bases Services Group, Ikeja.
He said that the newly appointed and redeployed senior officers are expected to take over their new offices not later than Tuesday, 7 January 2020.
Some Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters have been killed during a raid by the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole.
A statement by the Nigerian Air Force Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola said that the insurgents convened to meet at their hideout in Kollaram on the fringes of Lake Chad in the Northern part of Borno State.
“In continuation of Operation Rattle Snake, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has neutralized some Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters as they assembled for a meeting at their hideout in Kollaram on the fringes of Lake Chad in the Northern part of Borno State.
“The operation was executed on 14 December 2019 following credible intelligence reports indicating that some of the ISWAP leaders had assembled for a meeting in one of 2 buildings at the centre of the settlement.”
Forty-eight newly-promoted senior officers of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) have been decorated.
The event held on Thursday at the NAF headquarters in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
They are 13 Air Vice Marshals (AVM) and 35 Air Commodores.
In his address, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, urged the senior officers to see their promotion as recognition of professionalism, and as being entrusted with the capacity to tackle higher responsibilities.
He added that NAF would continue to reward officers and men who have shown commitment and professionalism to the security of the country.
Sadique noted that in an increasingly complex security environment where new challenges call for the very best, human capacity development remains one key responsibility of a fighting force.
According to him, personnel skill and commitment on-the-job go a long way to determine the overall success in the transformational drive and repositioning efforts of the air force into a highly professional and disciplined force that would respond to national security imperatives.
The air chief stresses the importance of ensuring that the services were led by persons with good leadership qualities if the military must eliminate or minimise costly mistakes during various operations.
This requirement, according to him, is higher in the case of the air force which is a highly technical service.
He, therefore, urged the newly promoted senior officers to see their promotion as recognition of professionalism and as being entrusted with the capacity to tackle higher responsibilities.
At the induction ceremony which took place at the NAF Headquarters in Abuja, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar also winged the first female Air Warrant officer in the person of Grace Garba who was elevated last week.
Air Marshal Abubakar who conducted the winging alongside other invited guests said capable human resources was at the heart of the Nigerian Air Force agenda.
He further stressed that the force will continue to do everything within the available resources to improve its lot as far as human capital is concerned.
Nigerian Air Force (NAF) plane has destroyed a training camp belonging to the Islamic State of West Africa province (ISWAP) terrorists near Mallam Fatori on the fringes of lake chad in northern Borno State.
A statement from Air Force spokesman Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance missions had identified a building on one of the lake chad islands being used as a facility to indoctrinate and train new fighters.
The United States of America (USA) Government has again assured the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) of its continued support in combating emerging security threats in the Country.
This assurance was given on Wednesday by the Adjutant General California National Guard, Major General David Baldwin, when he paid a courtesy call on the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at Headquarters NAF Abuja.
The Adjutant General reiterated the commitment of the US Military towards strengthening the existing Military-to-Military partnership as well as in ensuring the efficient execution of the contract between the Governments of Nigeria and the USA for the delivery of 12 Super Tucano aircraft to the NAF.
He added that the US Military would also be willing to further collaborate with the NAF in the areas of Air-Ground Integration, intelligence gathering, sharing and pilot training as well as capacity development for cyber warfare, amongst others.
He also noted that the story of the successes recorded in the counter insurgency (COIN) operations in the Northeast of Nigeria would not be complete without due mention of the support and contributions of the US Military and Government to Nigeria.
In his view, he said it was in the interest of the International Community to have a secure and stable Nigeria, given the devastating effects a destabilized Nigeria would have on West Africa and Africa as a whole.
Air Marshal Abubakar, who further solicited for the support of the US Military to achieve the establishment of an Air-Ground Integration School in Kaduna, also lauded the magnanimity of the US Military for training several NAF pilots, including the first Nigerian female fighter pilot, Flying Officer Kafayat Sanni, who, he said, would be winged sometime in the month of October.
The CAS also solicited assistance for the provision of spares and technical support in maintenance of C-130 Hercules aircraft, noting that the NAF had conducted in-country Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) on 2 aircraft and would soon commence work on the third one.
He also stated that the US could still support with additional capability to enhance the process and CAS equally intimated the Adjutant General on the NAF’s preparedness to receive the Super Tucano aircraft.
However, as partners, Nigeria and the California National Guard have had over 100 Military-to-Military bilateral engagements including: Military Intelligence, Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Training, Combat Medic, Military Aviation as well as Military Law and Disaster Response/Emergency Management.
The Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has dealt another blow on the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) by completely destroying an ammunition-laden gun truck and immobilising another one belonging to the group at Garunda in the Northern part of Borno Sate.
According to a statement by the Nigerian Air Force spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the attacks were carried out on Tuesday the 10th of September, 2019.
Air Commodore Daramola narrated that the feat was achieved when a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet aircraft on armed reconnaissance mission along the Gudumbali-Zari-Garunda axis spotted 2 ISWAP gun trucks emerging from Jumaacheri settlement heading towards Garunda.
“The attack aircraft tracked the 2 gun trucks as they attempted to evade detection by driving into folliage. The aircraft engaged one of the gun trucks, which was camouflaged under a tree, in successive passes scoring accurate hits leading to the neutralization of some of the ISWAP occupants.
“The gun truck was later seen engulfed in flames as a result of multiple mini-explosions of the on-board ammunition. The other gun truck was also tracked and immobilized after its occupants had abandoned it under another tree in the area” Air Commodore Daramola narrated.
He also assured that the NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, will sustain its operations against the terrorists in the Northeast.
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has enjoined personnel of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), to redouble their efforts and engage the security challenges with rugged optimism and renewed determination, while remaining professional in the discharge of their constitutional duty.
The Air Chief in a statement on Tuesday asked the troops to always operate within the provisions of local and international laws.
“I wish to particularly thank all NAF personnel for their patriotism, dedication and countless sacrifices made in the various Theatres of Operation. Your valuable contributions have ensured that aircraft and ancillary equipment are available, logistics requirements are in place, administrative necessities are met, and personnel is combat-ready to tackle the challenges confronting the Nation.
“I, therefore, enjoin you all to redouble your efforts and engage the security challenges with rugged optimism and renewed determination, while remaining professional in the discharge of your constitutional duty of ensuring the security of our Beloved Nation and its Good People.
“You must also remember, in the course of your duties, to always operate within the ambits of extant local and international laws, while showing compassion and respect for all law-abiding citizens,’ he added.
He also recalled officers who were killed in the line of duty and asked the troops to use the celebration of this festive season to remember them.
“Importantly, in our celebration of this festive season, let us also take time to remember our colleagues who have paid the supreme price in service to our fatherland.
“We remember them today as always and restate our commitment to cater to the needs of their loved ones and those they left behind. Let their memories and deeds spur us on to a higher level of dedication that would ensure that their sacrifices were not in vain.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged men of the Nigerian Armed Forces to continue to operate at the highest level of professionalism.
Professor Osinbajo said the military must continue to serve with excellence because Nigerians expect them to operate exceptionally.
Osinbajo made the admonition at the 2019 NAF Day Celebration on Monday, April 29.
The Vice President tasked the armed forces on employing more technology and innovative techniques in tackling insecurity across the nation.
He also urged the various arms of the military to seek better ways to cooperate while maintaining the healthy spirit of competition for effective handling of the security issues besetting the nation.
“I would like to urge greater cooperation and mutual trust between the various arms of the Armed Forces, even while maintaining the healthy spirit of competition that underpins innovation and increased efficiency. The Nigerian Air Force should also strive to expand its collaborations outside of the military – by this, I mean collaborations with academia, think tanks, civilian technology hubs, and independent innovators and creators.
“As we provide new platforms for you to carry out your constitutional roles, Nigerians expect nothing short of exceptional service delivery from you. I, therefore, charge you to continue to work to earn the confidence of the nation and the respect of the international community, in terms of protecting lives and property, and degrading and neutralizing all existing and emerging national security threats.
“As you may recall, in President Buhari’s inaugural speech as President, he promised to put an end to the Boko Haram insurgency. In fulfilling the promise, as Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, he prioritized the restoration of professionalism in the military, to enable them effectively discharge their responsibilities.”
Below is a full text by the Vice President at the Nigerian Air Force Day Celebration, as published by Laolu Akande the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity.
“I am delighted to be in your midst today to celebrate the Fifty-fifth Anniversary of the Nigerian Air Force, established in 1964 by an Act of the Nigerian Parliament to preserve Nigeria’s territorial integrity through the employment and projection of air power. I am proud to say that the Airforce has in the years since its establishment proved its mettle both locally and internationally.
“I must say that I am impressed by the displays put up by the officers, airmen and airwomen of the Nigerian Air Force at this ceremonial parade: in the march-past and parade, and especially in the aerial exhibition. These displays aptly demonstrate the Nigerian Air Force’s commitment to achieving high standards of operational readiness. Indeed our Air Force is Willing Able and Ready
“I would like to commend the Chief of the Air Staff and his team for the commendable leadership they have shown in providing for the Nigerian Air Force. As the air arm of the armed forces, the Nigerian Air Force has shown that despite its challenges, in terms of quality of manpower, talents, creativity and capability, we stand shoulder to shoulder with any Air Force in the world. As a country, we are particularly proud that in less than 4 years, we have been able to revitalize our armed forces for the full restoration of Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
“As you may recall, in the President in his inaugural speech promised to put an end to the Boko Haram insurgency. In fulfilling the promise, as Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, he prioritized the restoration of professionalism in the military, to enable them effectively discharge their responsibilities.
“Substantial investments have been made in acquiring new platforms and other support equipment for the military and other security agencies, as well as in reactivating and upgrading existing platforms. In the last four years, the Air Force has acquired and reactivated several aircraft, which are now helping make a difference in the various theatres of engagement across the country.
“In addition, the procurement process for military hardware has been reviewed, to remove inefficiency. In 2018, through a transparent, first-of-its-kind Government-to-Government deal with the United States of America, we concluded the procurement process for the delivery, in 2020, of a dozen Super Tucano aircrafts, which will no doubt be game-changing for Nigeria’s air capabilities.
“I must also highlight the renewed focus on research, innovation and self-reliance by the Chief of Air Staff. This is farsighted. It is also an important component of the development of a Military Industrial Complex for Nigeria and the Armed Forces in general. I am pleased to note that we are seeing an Air Force that is increasingly confident about its ability and capacity to innovate and to deploy locally developed technology.
“This is manifesting in various ways, from the locally-developed operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, TSAIGUMI, which the President formally inducted into service in February 2018, to the collaborative work being done at the Air Force Research and Development Centre in Kaduna to produce the first-ever made-in-Nigeria aircraft.
“Of course, this must be situated within the general context of a greater emphasis on local capacity-building by the Nigerian Armed Forces, with developments like the establishment of a Nigerian Army University and the revitalization of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) serving as testaments to this renewed emphasis.
“Once again, I salute the resolve of our Armed Forces and the invaluable contributions of other security agencies in fully containing the security challenges in some parts of the nation. Especially, the contributions of the Nigerian Air Force in addressing the security challenges of armed banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping in the North West and North Central. Your efforts in conjunction with other security agents have started to yield positive results. As we provide new platforms for you to carry out your constitutional roles, Nigerians expect nothing short of exceptional service delivery from you.
“I, therefore, charge you to continue to work to earn the confidence of the nation and the respect of the international community, in terms of protecting lives and property, and degrading and neutralizing all existing and emerging national security threats.
“I would like to urge greater cooperation and mutual trust between the various arms of the Armed Forces, even while maintaining the healthy spirit of competition that underpins innovation and increased efficiency.
“The Nigerian Air Force should also strive to expand its collaborations outside of the military – by this, I mean collaborations with academia, think tanks, civilian technology hubs, and independent innovators and creators. I am aware, with discussions with the Chief of Air Staff that collaborations with our universities and research institutes are already underway.
“There is a great amount of potential waiting to be unleashed from these partnerships. Earlier this year, young interns working at the Federal-Government-supported North East Humanitarian Innovation Hub in Yola, hit an important milestone in their work. They developed, through 3-D printing, a fitting prosthetic arm for a former Policeman who lost his arm while in service. This was an exceptional innovation because all of the material used and all of those involved in it are from Adamawa State.
“Across the country, hubs like these – several of them supported by the Federal Government are doing exciting things and exciting ground is being broken, and there is no reason why the Armed Forces should not be a part of the story.
“Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, these remarks would not be complete without acknowledging the roles played by the Nigerian Armed Forces in the just-concluded General Elections. I am aware of the efficient movement by air of electoral materials, and the aerial surveillance conducted by the Nigerian Air Force which contributed to the success of the elections. I, therefore, commend the Armed Forces and other security agencies on a job well done.
“Finally, let me thank Nigerians for coming together as a united and determined people, irrespective of political and ethnic affiliations, to wage war against terror and insurgency.
“We are currently in the stabilization, reconstruction and resettlement phase of the overall effort in the North East, and we will continue to solicit your support and understanding until terrorism is completely eradicated. We will not relent until every troubled spot within our borders enjoys enduring peace and order.
“I once again congratulate the Chief of the Air Staff and the entire Air Force family on the occasion of the 55thAnniversary of the Nigerian Air Force.
“Long live the Nigerian Air Force, long live the Armed Forces, long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has rejected the allegations that only innocent civilians and not bandits were killed in recent air strikes conducted by its Air Task Force for Operation Diran Mikiya in the areas attacked in Zamfara State.
The service condemned the reports in a statement by NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola.
In the statement posted on its Facebook page on Friday, the air force described the reports as “ridiculous”.
It explained that most of the locations attacked were within the Rugu, Sububu and Kagara Forests general area, which were known armed bandits’ hideouts that have been attacked in the past without any outcry.
It further explained the procedures involved before air strikes were carried out in identified locations while ensuring that only targeted criminals were hit.
The statement said, “The NAF target selection process for air operations is particularly rigorous and methodical in order to ensure proper target identification and thereby prevent strikes on wrong locations.
“For the avoidance of doubts, the public is to please note that the locations attacked from 8 to 11 April 2019 were selected based on human intelligence (HUMINT) reports obtained from security agencies and other government sources, traditional and community leaders as well as reliable, vetted informants.
“These were all further confirmed by days of detailed day and night Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions to ensure proper targeting for avoidance of collateral damage. To further ensure this, as standard practice, NAF attack aircraft on air interdiction missions are accompanied by ISR platforms that guide them to designated targets.”
NAF explained that its pilots, by training and in line with extant Rules of Engagement (ROEs) for the operation, do not attack any location if it was observed that non-combatants, especially women and children were present.
In such cases, it said the pilots would rather return to base with their munitions unexpended.
It affirmed that it was “inconceivable” that it would attack locations where innocent civilians reside and rejected the claims.
The service added that it was mischievous to “spread such deliberate misinformation”, while it was doing its best to effectively respond to the challenges facing the people of Zamfara State and its environs.
“Rather than making such spurious and unsubstantiated allegations, NAF requests that anyone with evidence to the effect that innocent civilians were targeted by the NAF air strikes should produce such evidence,” the statement added.
NAF, however, vowed to remain committed to ensuring the safety and security of all Nigerians, as well as work in synergy with other security agencies to rid the north-west region of all criminal elements.
It gave assurance that it would not be deterred but would sustain its air operations to facilitate a return to normalcy that would enable Nigerians in the area pursue their legitimate aspirations.
It also called for the people’s support and urged them not to be distracted by what it termed unsubstantiated allegations.