Nigeria’s Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, yesterday said the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) was expecting the delivery of additional new platforms.
Amao, who made the disclosure during an operational visit to the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Safety and 209 Quick Response Group, Ipetu-Ijesa, Osun State, stated that the NAF had effectively operationalized the usage of new and modern platform in the battlefield.
The expected air assets include: Two Beechcraft King Air 360, four Diamond DA-62 surveillance aircraft, three Wing Loong II UCAVs and 6 T-129 attack helicopters. He further disclosed that there were ongoing acquisitions of 12 Agusta 109 Trekker multi-role helicopters and 24 M-346 attack aircraft. He added that some of the additional platforms are expected to be delivered to the NAF before the end of first quarter 2023.
Modern aircraft proving effectiveness.
The Air Marshall also applauded the recent acquisitions, citing the effectiveness of modern aircraft. The new aircraft would further boost NAF’s air power employment and projection capabilities as well as air combat training. He added that the new and modern air assets were instrumental to the successful bombing campaign against terrorists and insurgents.
Air Marshal Amao attributed the successes recorded by the NAF in the theatres of operation to the newly acquired JF-17 Thunder aircraft, A-29 Super Tucano aircraft and the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV).
He maintained that the Nigerian military was winning the war against terrorism in the country, with the aid of these modem platforms. He emphasised that “more still needed to be done to completely decimate and flush out the remnants of terrorists still preying on soft targets”.
He, however, warned that being complacent at this point would be harmful to ongoing operations and called for more focus, vigilance and caution.
The military must remain apolitical.
Commenting on the upcoming general election, the CAS urged the armed personnel to remain apolitical and only exercise their legal franchise, which is the constitutional right to vote for any candidate of their choice. “We must continue to maintain our integrity and neutrality as a Service,” the CAS added.
He further urged NAF personnel to remember that as custodians of Nigeria’s constitution, they must ensure that public perception of the NAF and the Armed Forces of Nigeria remains positive and unblemished.
The military is known, in most African countries for being sympathetic to ruling parties. In some instances, the armed forces are used to instill fear amongst the electorate. This in turn influences independent decision making, which is a form of electoral malpractice.
Sources: This Day Live