By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—THE Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has blamed recent successful attack on a defence base of the Nigerian Air Force by the Boko Haram terrorists, on some base commanders, who he said were yet to imbibe and adopt the tenets of new base defence concept.
The Air Force boss, according to a statement by Director of Public Relations and Information of the service, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, spoke at a recent retreat in Kaduna for base commanders.
“Recent evaluations of the bases revealed that many commanders and bases were yet to imbibe and adopt the tenets of the new base defence concept,” he said.
To this end, he said the retreat, therefore, was to afford participants the opportunity to rub minds and exchange ideas and experiences towards engendering effective implementation of the new concept across the Nigerian Air Force.
He said: “Given the importance of bases in air power delivery matrix, it is not inconceivable to expect our adversaries to target our bases.
“As a matter of fact, we have had an attack on one of our airbases in the recent past, and current intelligence reports keep highlighting the possibility of attacks on our bases.”
The two-day retreat, which took place between May 25 and 26, at the recently commissioned Ibrahim Alfa auditorium in the Air Force Institute of Technology Kaduna, was basically on base defence planning.
The retreat was aimed at further educating relevant stakeholders on the new NAF base defence concept, which is premised on the development and deployment of an air-minded ground defence force, trained and equipped as special light infantry and capable of operating both inside and outside the base perimeter against contemporary threats, while leveraging on intelligence and available modern technology.
Abubakar, who was the special guest of honour at the retreat, reminded participants that despite its potency, air power still had limitations, one of which was the issue of security of bases.
“All these reinforce the need to emplace a robust base defence concept that is capable of providing guidance for responding to a wide range of situations that may threaten our bases, “ he said.
In a related development, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has commissioned the newly built Regiment Training Centre and electronic shooting range, both in Kaduna.
An interesting development was the naming of the Regiment Training Centre and the electronic range after late Air Commodore Anthony Ikhazoboh and late Group Captain Williams Pratt respectively.
Both retired senior officers contributed significantly to NAF base defence while in service and it was considered most befitting to honour them, as a way of encouraging those alive.
The Regiment Training Centre, which has the capacity to accommodate 300 trainees simultaneuosly, and the Electronic Range, were constructed to further develop the capacity of personnel for base defence.