Air Force Chief: We Are Winning War against Terrorism with Buhari’s Support
* Expects 55 aircraft by 2023
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, said yesterday that the magnanimity of President Muhammadu Buhari in providing the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) with new and modern platforms and NAF’s ability to effectively operationalise their usage in the battlefield was instrumental to the level of successes recorded against terrorists and insurgents.
He spoke during an operational tour of 205 Combat Search and Rescue Group, Kerang Plateau State and 22 Quick Response Wing, Lafia in Nasarawa State.
He said there was no doubt that some of the new platforms in NAF’s order of battle, particularly the JF-17 Thunder aircraft, the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft and the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been one of the many reasons why “we are winning the war against terrorism in the country.”
The air force boss, however, stated that more was needed to completely decimate and flush out the remnants of terrorists still preying on soft targets.
He also warned that complacency 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 was expecting the delivery of additional new platforms which the President had approved for the NAF.
“These platforms include two CASA-295 medium airlift aircraft, two Beechcraft King Air 360, four Diamond DA-62 surveillance aircraft, three Wing Loong II UCAVs and 6 T-129 ATAK helicopters.
Other ongoing acquisitions include two Agusta 109 Trekker multi-role helicopters, 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters and 24 M-346 attack aircraft 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.
On the upcoming general elections, the CAS told air force personnel that while exercising their constitutional right to vote for any candidate of their choice, they 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 perception of the NAF and the Armed Forces of Nigeria remains positive and unblemished”.
The CAS was accompanied by some Branch Chiefs, the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command and some directors, a NAF statement said.