The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had within three years of President Muhammadu Buhari administration acquired 18 new air craft and reactivated 13 others.
He said the service had also trained over 2,000 Special Forces personnel to bridge the gap between force projection and force protection, with 1,000 of these personnel deployed for counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency and various internal security operations in the country.
Abubakar in a statement Sunday by the Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, disclosed this during the Saturday’s commissioning ceremony of an outdoor small arms shooting range and other projects recently executed by the NAF at its Base in Bauchi.
He noted that “the NAF had trained over 2,000 Special Forces personnel to bridge the gap between force projection and force protection, with 1,000 of these personnel deployed, along with air assets, alongside other security agencies in the North East, North Central, South-South, South East and the North West”.
He noted that the asymmetric challenges facing the nation had necessitated the establishment of the Special Operations Command (SOC), and units under its command, in order to sharpen the NAF’s response capability in Internal Security and counterinsurgency operations.
Against this backdrop, the CAS hinted that he was rejigging air operations in Zamfara State with additional air assets being deployed in support of Operation Sharan Daji with a view to further dealing decisive blows on armed bandits.
He commended Buhari “for providing the enabling environment that had facilitated the purchase 18 brand new aircraft as well as the reactivation of 13 previously unserviceable ones in just three years, thereby enhancing NAF’s ability to meet national security imperatives”.
He also expressed immense gratitude to the people of Bauchi State for their hospitality and support to the NAF.