By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja.
Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi(Rtd) has stated that increased levels of success by the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) can be attributed to the improved levels of synergy and cooperation among the Services.
He stated this at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) 58th Anniversary celebration which is ongoing at the NAF Base, Kano.
He disclosed that the theme for the Seminar, ‘Enhancing NAF’s Operational Efficiency in Joint Operations for Effective Response to Contemporary National Security Imperatives’ would address operational challenges being experienced in the field, particularly in the areas of air to ground integration and Unmanned Aircraft Systems optimization in the theatres.
“That is why I believe that this Seminar could not have come at a better time as it will facilitate better use of airpower in the joint employment of our Armed Forces”, he noted.
Magashi also stated that despite its limitations, the NAF since its inception has commendably carried out the core functions of protecting Nigeria’s air space and providing support to surface forces.
“In doing so, m the NAF has always displayed the highest level of professionalism and shown great resourcefulness in the areas of manpower management, Research and Development and in air operations execution” he noted.
Gen Magashi reiterated the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari-led’s administration towards revamping the fortunes of the NAF and the AFN in general.
“Today, the fleet of the Nigerian Air Force has been reinforced with several platforms which have improved its Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance as well as attack capabilities and extended the reach of the Armed Forces”, he said.
He then called on the NAF and the AFN to renew their commitment and determination to play their part in addressing the security challenges threatening the peace and progress of the Nation.
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao in his address, noted that since assuming office, President Muhammadu Buhari has fully supported the AFN in general and indeed the NAF, in particular, to enable them to achieve their set objectives.
Accordingly, the Federal Government has committed substantial national resources to enhance the overall capabilities of the Armed Forces in a bid to address the security challenges in various parts of the country.
“This has not only succeeded in ameliorating equipment constraints experienced in previous years and the attendant implications of such constraints, but it has also spurred NAF personnel to be more committed to the decimation of subversive elements, who seek to undermine the peace, progress, unity and faith of Nigeria”, he said.
Air Marshal Amao also stated that the theme of the seminar was timely as the seminar will enable the NAF to appraise its current efforts while further repositioning itself to continuously project air power to definitively meet its constitutional mandate.
He said the seminar stood out among other activities lined up for the celebrations as the deliberations were expected to produce tangible strategies going forward in NAF operations.
Accordingly, he noted, one of the papers presented will address Air to Ground Integration and Operational Efficiency from a holistic perspective while the other will proffer ways of Optimizing NAF’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle operations for efficiency in joint force employment.
He then expressed confidence that the discourse will spur better ideas for the NAF to be more effective in the discharge of its responsibilities.
He expressed appreciation to the Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje for his continued support to the NAF in Kano and to the Special Guest of Honour, the Hon Minister of Defence for his guidance and encouragement.
The Seminar also had in attendance, senior military officers from the services headquarters as well as senior retired military officers.