The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is eagerly awaiting the arrival of 51 newly procured aircraft from the federal government, aimed at enhancing its operational capabilities.
Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, the Chief of the Air Staff, shared this exciting development during his speech at the graduation ceremony of 15 participants from Air War College (AWC) Course 9/2023, held in Makurdi, Benue State.
Air Marshal Abubakar emphasized the significance of this graduation in advancing human capacity development within the NAF, a crucial element in fulfilling the organization’s constitutional duties.
He also revealed that the NAF plans to introduce additional aircraft before the year’s end, which will bolster training programs, airpower deployment, and strategic projection. Some of these new platforms include two Agusta 109 Trekker Multi-role helicopters, two Beechcraft King Air 360, three Diamond DA-62 surveillance aircraft, and six T-129 ATAK helicopters.
Furthermore, the NAF’s Chief of the Air Staff disclosed the pending acquisitions, which include two CASA 295 medium airlift/surveillance aircraft, 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters, and 24 M-346 attack aircraft. These acquisitions underscore the government’s strong commitment to equipping the NAF for safe training and effective airpower deployment to address national security challenges.
Air Marshal Abubakar expressed appreciation for the continuous support provided by the Federal Government, led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in terms of equipment procurement and training. This support has enabled the NAF to consistently carry out operations to counter contemporary threats.
He also stressed the importance of institutions like the AWC in fostering collaboration and synergy in ongoing operations, stating that officers trained in joint operations are vital for efficient utilization of available military resources.
In conclusion, the Chief of the Air Staff emphasized that the successes achieved in ongoing joint operations highlight the benefits and necessity of employing joint forces in modern military operations.
The Minister of Defence, Dr. Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, praised the formidable airpower displayed by the NAF as a decisive and indispensable component of combat power in safeguarding Nigeria’s territorial integrity. He also acknowledged the NAF’s contributions in providing airlift and humanitarian support to international organizations and African countries.
Minister Badaru emphasized the importance of operational art, critical thinking, and pragmatic frameworks in military decision-making processes, as taught in the AWC curriculum. These skills are essential for proactive operational planning and management, which in turn contribute to national security and socio-economic development.
He commended the dedication of NAF personnel who have played a pivotal role in the success of ongoing joint operations, especially in counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism efforts.