The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has between July and October 2015 conducted a total of 1448 air sorties in support of the ongoing counter insurgency operation in the north east and also deployed over 300 ground troops from its special forces to fight along with the Army in the field.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar disclosed this on Wednesday when he received in audience officials of the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) led by the Executive Director, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (Rtd) who paid him courtesy visit in his office. The Air Force, he said, is doing everything possible to see how peace can be restored in the troubled areas as soon as possible.
According to him, the air component is fully integrated in the counter insurgency operation plans and as such, NAF is using different aircrafts in its arsenal including F-7NI, Alpha Jet, C-130 AC, Augusta 109 LUH, Mi-35, Mi-24, Mi-17, Supa Puma Helicopters, among others to carryout logistics support, reconnaissance and combat operations.
“Where ever the army is going in the battle field, we give them the air support, provide intelligence and clear the ground for them to operate optimally. There are challenges no doubt but God willing, we will meet the expectations of the people and the deadline given by the Commander-in-Chief as the government is giving us necessary supports and encouragements”, he stated.
Air Marshal Abubakar expressed his appreciation to the Centre for Crisis Communication for the important job they are doing in trying to streamline and harmonize crisis information in the country for effectiveness noting that information management is critical to success or otherwise of military operations especially the counter insurgency operation embarked upon by the Nigerian Armed Forces. “If you manage information well, you kill the morale of the enemies,” he opined.
He disclosed further that NAF has embarked on a number of quick impact projects in the north east aimed at winning the hearts and minds of the people. In this regard, it has provided medical facilities including clinics, medical laboratories, medical wards and drugs. It has sunk boreholes, provided 50, 000 liters over-head tanks, constructed toilet facilities and shelters for internally displaced persons in the north east.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Centre for Crisis Communication, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (Rtd) briefed the Chief of Air Staff on the mandates of the Centre and congratulated NAF for the good work it is doing in the north east while condoling it on the death of a number of its officers in a couple air crashes in the course of the operations. He assured the CAS of the Centre’s willingness to partner its information department to bring to public knowledge the various efforts and sacrifices of the Nigerian Air Force.