By Augustine Ehikioya
Giving reasons for onslaught against terrorism, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, has attributed it to the magnanimity of President Muhammadu Buhari in providing the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) with new and modern platforms and NAF’s ability to effectively operationalize their usage in the battlefield.
According to him, this has been instrumental to the level of successes been recorded against terrorists and insurgents in the country.
The Chief of the Air Staff spoke on Thursday during operation tour of 205 Combat Search and Rescue Group, Kerang, Plateau State and 22 Quick Response Wing, Lafia in Nasarawa State.
In a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore, Edward Gabkwet, and made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA), the CAS, pointed out that some of the new platforms in NAF’s Order of Battle, particularly the JF-17 Thunder aircrafts, the A-29 Super Tucano aircrafts and the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been very helpful in the fight against terrorism.
The CAS said they are the reason why “We are winning the war against terrorism in the country.”
He however stated that more still needed to be done to completely decimate and flush out the remnants of terrorists still preying on soft targets.
He also warned that being complacent at this point would be harmful to ongoing operations and called for extra focus, vigilance and caution.
Air Marshal Amao also informed the personnel that the NAF is expecting the delivery of additional new platforms which the President has approved for the NAF.
These platforms, the statement said, included 2 CASA-295 medium airlift aircrafts, 2 Beechcraft King Air 360, 4 Diamond DA-62 surveillance aircrafts, 3 Wing Loong II UCAVs and 6 T-129 ATAK helicopters.
“Other ongoing acquisitions include 2 Agusta 109 Trekker multi-role helicopters, 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters and 24 M-346 attack aircrafts to boost NAF’s air power employment and projection capabilities as well as air combat training.
“A few of these additional platforms are expected to be delivered to the NAF before the end of first quarter 2023,” it stated.
Concerning the forthcoming general elections, the CAS said that while exercising their constitutional right to vote for any candidate of their choice, the personnel must desist from engaging in any form of political activities.
According to the CAS, “We must continue to maintain our integrity and neutrality as a Service. You must also remember that as custodians of Nigeria’s constitution, we must ensure that the public’s perception of the NAF and the Armed Forces of Nigeria remains positive and unblemished.”
The CAS was accompanied on the tour by some Branch Chiefs, the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command, and some Directors.