Nigerian Air Force Wings First Female Fighter And Combat Pilots, Others

 

The Nigerian Air Force on Tuesday commissioned its first female fighter pilot and the first female combat helicopter pilot in the history of the service.

Kafayat Sanni and Tolulope Arotile were commissioned alongside 11 other fighter pilots.

Both pilots were trained in the United States and South Africa respectively.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Air Force Decorates First Female Helicopter, Fighter Pilots

A photo combination of Flying Officers Kafayat Sanni (L) and Tolulope Arotile taken on October 15, 2019. Photos: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

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.

NAF Destroys Terrorists’ Training Facility In Borno

 

 

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.

READ ALSO: NAF Jet Destroys ISWAP Gun Trucks In Borno

He says the aircraft dispatched by the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole to the location, observed significant activity of the terrorists in the target area.

The fighter plane then bombarded the building, completely destroying it and neutralizing the ISWAP occupants.

Other fighters who were seen fleeing the location were later mopped-up in follow-up attacks.

Security Threats: US Pledges More Support For Nigerian Air Force

 

 

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.

READ ALSO: Three Killed As Troops Rid Borno Village Of Terrorists

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.

NAF Jet Destroys ISWAP Gun Trucks In Borno

 

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.

READ ALSO: Troops Rescue Seven Kidnap Victims In Kaduna 

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.

NAF Aircraft Crash-Lands At Yar’adua International Airport In Katsina

File Photo

A Helicopter of the Nigerian Air Force has crashed-landed at the Umaru Musa Yar’adua International Airport, Katsina State.

The incident which occurred at about 3:00pm was confirmed in a statement issued on Wednesday by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola.

According to the statement, the crash occurred while the helicopter was returning from an anti-armed banditry combat mission in the Northwest Theatre under Operation Hadaran Daji.

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Although details are still scanty, the NAF spokesperson says no life was lost.

Subsequently, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has directed the constitution of a Board of Inquiry to determine the exact cause of the incident.

The Force said it continues to solicit the understanding and support of the general public as it strives daily to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.

Tackle Insecurity With ‘Rugged Optimism’, Air Chief Tells Troops

NAF Releases List Of Shortlisted Candidates For Recruitment Interview
A file photo of Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar/ [email protected]

 

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.

READ ALSO: Abachas 211 Million Pounds Loot Uncovered In Channel Island Report

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.”

Nigerians Expect Exceptional Service From The Military – Osinbajo


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.

READ ALSO: Osinbajo Asks Governors To Boost IGR To Reduce Poverty

“Protocols.

“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.

“I thank you all for listening.”

NAF Rejects Allegation Of Bombing Wrong Settlements In Zamfara, Explains Operations

NAF Rejects Allegation Of Bombing Wrong Settlements In Zamfara, Explains Operations
A file photo of Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar/ [email protected]

 

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”.

READ ALSOOver 3,500 Children Recruited By Insurgents, Says UN

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.

Senior Officers Pay Tributes As Nigerian Air Force Pilot Is Buried

 

Senior military and government officials on Friday paid tributes as Nigerian Air Force officer, Squadron Leader, Mohammed Bello Baba-Ari was buried.

The dignitaries including the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari; Chief of Air Staff, Sadiq Abubakar; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and others who were at Gudu cemetery where the officer was buried.

The 32-year-old pilot lost his life on Friday when two Nigerian Air Force F-7Ni aircraft participating in the rehearsals for the aerial display to mark Nigeria’s 58th Independence anniversary celebrations had a mid-air collision.

 

According to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, the three pilots involved in the crash had ejected before their aircraft crashed into the general area Katamkpe Hill, but Baba-Ari succumbed to the injuries he sustained upon impact on the ground.

The two others who were injured in the crash are in stable conditions and currently receiving treatment at the Defence Intelligence Agency clinic in Abuja.

Air Marshal  Abubakar also announced that the Nigerian Air Force has since launched a probe into the cause of the crash.

Buhari Condoles With Nigerian Air Force Over Abuja Crash, Death Of Pilot

President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) over the air crash in Abuja which involved two fighter jets and led to the death of one pilot.

The President in a statement signed on Friday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity paid tributes to the gallantry of the officer, Squadron Leader MB Baba-Ari, who died in the crash.

He also wished the two other wounded officers’ quick recovery.

In a condolence message delivered on his behalf by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Siddique, at the burial of the officer on Friday in Abuja, President Buhari extolled the virtues of the dead pilot.

He said the pilot laid down his life in the service of his fatherland at a time that patriotic citizens were needed to join hands to move the nation forward.

READ ALSO: Pilot Dies As NAF Aircraft Crash In Abuja

He assured that having paid the supreme sacrifice, the nation would not forget the late officer.

He prayed that God will grant the soul of the departed eternal rest and assured family members that the country will not abandon them.

Shehu in the statement added that the representatives of the President also visited the two other officers, Squadron Leader Abatuba and Flight Lieutenant Ambi, in the hospital and conveyed the President’s good wishes to them.

The President wished them a quick recovery, assuring them the hearts of Nigerians are with them and are praying for them as they make a quick return to good health.

He assured that the country will do whatever it takes to ensure that they are back on their feet in excellent state.

Pilot Dies As NAF Aircraft Crash In Abuja

Scenes from the site of the aircrash

 

Two aircraft of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) have been involved in an accident.

This was disclosed on Friday in a statement signed by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola.

Daramola said the air accident occurred during rehearsals for the Independence day celebrations.

“I wish to confirm an air incident involving 2 Nigerian Air Force aircraft taking part in the rehearsals for the 58th Independence Day Celebrations,” he said.

Daramola did not state if the accident was a collision or a crash.

READ ALSO: Minimum Wage: Unions Shut Down Operations At General Aviation Terminal Of Lagos Airport

One of the aircraft was reported to have gone up in flames before it eventually crashed.

The Nigerian Air Force in a different press release later on Friday announced the death of one of its pilots who was involved in an accident.

NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, made the announcement on Friday.

“It is with a heavy heart that I regretfully announce that one of the pilots who successfully ejected from one of the F-7Ni aircraft that crashed earlier today has passed on. May his soul RIP,” Daramola said.

Pilot Dies In NAF Aircraft Crash

The Nigerian Air Force has announced the death of one of its pilots.

The pilot died on Friday after two of the NAF aircraft were involved in an accident while rehearsing for the Independence Day celebration.

NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, made the announcement on Friday.

“It is with a heavy heart that I regretfully announce that one of the pilots who successfully ejected from one of the F-7Ni aircraft that crashed earlier today has passed on. May his soul RIP,” Daramola said.

He added that details on the incident will be communicated later.

See photos from the scene of the crash below…