NAF Intensifies Search For Ghana/ISIS Group In Benue State

Nigerian Air Force, Bombing, BornoThe Nigerian Air Force, on Thursday launched a seven day air surveillance and bombardment operation code-named “Operation Smoke Out”.

The operation is to check the activities of wanted militia leader, Terwase Akwaza and possible existence of ISIS/Boko Haram group in Benue state, as recently announced by the Department of State Services.

The Air Officer Commanding of the Tactical Air Command, Air Vice Marshal, Nurudeen Balogun, said there are no official intelligence on the existence of ISIS/Boko Haram in Benue state, Operation Smoke Out, is targeted at all known criminal elements involved in the Zaki Biam killings and the ISIS group if it exists.

The Air Officer listed Agatu, Katsina Ala and Zaki- Biam in Benue state as well as Wukari in Taraba state as the flash points for the operation, the operations will include other security agencies, while the Benue state government tasked indigenes on intelligence sharing.

The Air Officer briefs journalist on the component of the operation said,

“We are working with other security agencies to make sure we put a stop to this menace and so some air assets including, aisle assets and gunships and some fighter airplanes will be operating in the next seven days, conducting intensive operations, both day and night to make sure that we solve the problems”.

Governor Samuel Ortom who was represented by his Special Adviser on Sports and Youth Development, Professor Jonathan Uever, expressed confidence in the military to end the Benue violence.

“The Benue state government has a lot of confidence in the operations of the military and with the briefs we have received from the Air Officer Commanding, we know that it is going to be well and the people will sleep with their eyes closed, especially in the areas they showed us that they will carry out the operations”.

The Air Officer Commanding said, although there are no official report of ISIS/Boko Haram cell in Benue, the operation is designed to root out all criminal elements.

The acting commanding officer of the 101 Air Defense Group, Mohammed Baba-Ari, in a briefing with pilots and mission commanders, listed key troubled areas like Agatu, Katsina Ala, Zaki Biam and Wukari forest in Taraba state.

“The major restive areas include Agatu, Zaki Biam, Katsina Ala and Logo local government areas among others. Also a forest stretching between Benue and Taraba states is the suspected enclave for the vandals perpetrating these acts”.

The Operation Smoke Out follows last weeks approval by the Chief of Air Staff, to commence counter terrorism operations with air power in a joint security operation with ground troops of other sister agencies.

Nigerian Air Force Engages Personnel In Combat Sports

Nigerian Air Force Engages Personnel In Combat SportsThe Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has described physical fitness as the cornerstone of military combat readiness in confronting insurgency.

Air Marshal Abubakar stressed the need for personnel to maintain a high level of combat readiness, through constant training and keeping fit always.

He said this while addressing officers and men of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) at the opening ceremony of the Second Inter-Command Combat Sports Competition in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

The Air Force Chief also emphasised the importance of capacity building through physical fitness in creating a secure and stable environment for development.

Not undermining the importance of physical fitness in preparing personnel towards discharging their constitutional responsibility, he tasked participants to always remain fit in readiness for the challenges ahead.

Also speaking at the event, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, who was dressed in a military uniform, commended the Federal Government’s efforts in tackling insurgency.

Participants at the event were drawn from the NAF Headquarters, Abuja; Tactical Air Command, Makurdi; Special Operations Command, Bauchi; Mobility Command, Bayelsa; Training Command, Kaduna and the Logistics Command, Lagos.

Medals were awarded to winners in the combat relay race for men, as the Training Command, Kaduna emerged winners to pick the gold medal ahead of other commands.

The Air Force Commands are participating in seven sports including boxing, judo, taekwondo, swimming, obstacle crossing, combat race and shooting range.

War Against Insurgents: Air Chief Urges Troops To Sustain Tempo

Nigerian Air Force attacks Boko Haram insurgentsOfficials of the Nigerian Air Force involved in the fight against insurgency in the northeast have been asked to sustain the fight in order to reduce the activities of the insurgents to the barest minimum.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, James Gbum, made the demand in Maiduguri and Yola while observing the Sallah holiday with the troops.

He told the troops that the Federal Government was backing them with the provision of modern equipment of warfare and improved welfare services.

The Air Officer Commanding, Tactical Air Command, Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Mohammed, acknowledged the visit as a morale booster to the troops.

He reassured the Federal Government and the Chief of Air Staff of their unflinching loyalty and commitment to continuously tackling the insurgents and other criminals.

Boko Haram activities in the last six years have left several communities in the northeast devastate, with over two million persons displaced.

Heightened counter-terrorism operations in the region had sacked the terrorists from communities they had occupied, restoring relative peace.

In the heat of insurgency, the terrorists had taken over 200 girls hostage, an act that triggered worldwide protest for the release or rescue of the girls, with a #BringBackOurGirls slogan.

The girls were abducted from their school’s dormitory in Chibok, Borno State over two years ago.

Recently, the terrorist group released a video showing some of the abducted girls and said that some of them had been killed in air raids by the Nigerian Air Force at Sambisa Forest, a haven for terrorists in Borno State.

In a recent video released by Boko Haram few weeks ago, the terrorist group claimed that air strikes killed 40 of the over 200 girls abducted from their dormitory in a secondary school in Chibok on April 14, 2014.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, denied the claims of the terrorist group, describing it as false and a complete propaganda.