By: Kingsley Omonobi-Abuja.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has emphasized on the importance of acquiring air fighting capabilities for the NAF saying that global experience has shown that air power is critical to the defeat of asymmetric warfare such as the Boko Haram insurgency.
Making the disclosure on Tuesday 7th August 2017 while visiting the frontline troops at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base in Yola, the CAS said, “All hands must therefore be on deck to ensure the effective projection of air power to complete the defeat of the Boko Haram challenge”.
Abubakar consequently urged all the personnel to ensure that all the NAF aircraft committed to Operation Lafiya Dole remained serviceable and operational for the NAF to effectively project air power.
He also disclosed that the Service Chiefs had started exploring how to improve the synergy among the 3 Services towards putting a final end to the Boko Haram menace.
According to disclosure by Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, Director of NAF Public Relations, “Air Marshal Abubakar during the visit expressed appreciation to the NAF personnel for their continuous selfless efforts towards ensuring that Nigerians are able to go about their normal businesses without fear.
“He also commended their efforts in maintaining aircraft and associated equipment, which had enabled the NAF to fly over 9000 hours in the previous 2 years alone, in prosecution of the counterinsurgency operations”.
The CAS added that there was no doubt that the security situation in the country had improved but he was quick to add that the NAF could still do more, especially in view of the recent setbacks.
Air Marshal Abubakar therefore charged the personnel to redouble their efforts at further ensuring the security of the country, remarking that Nigerians expected more considering the huge taxpayers’ resources being expended to sustain the operations.
In their comments, most of the personnel appreciated the efforts of the NAF leadership in creating a conducive environment to operate.
A few highlighted some challenges bordering on operational, training and welfare matters whereas others suggested additional infrastructural development to enable them function better.
The CAS promptly addressed all the issues raised, to the satisfaction of the personnel.
He subsequently cautioned the personnel on the need to take absolute care of the equipment entrusted in their care as well as to always adhere to all the safety standards and procedures already in place.