Banditry: Buhari to induct new Helicopter Gunship into NAF platform — Nigerian Pilot News
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Banditry: Buhari to induct new Helicopter Gunship into NAF platform

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Banditry: Buhari to induct new Helicopter Gunship into NAF platform

Nigerian Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubabar said that President Muhammadu Buhari, will soon induct the new helicopter gunship due to arrive the country from Italy in no distant time to enhance the fight against banditry in North West.

He said that the aircraft when inducted into the service inventory will further boost NAF’s efforts to ensure adequate security in the North West zone, particularly in Zamfara, Sokoto and some parts of Kaduna State.

Abubakar who made this revelation at the quarterly meeting of Branch Chiefs; Air Officers Commanding (AOC) from the 6 NAF Commands, Directors and field Commanders, also announced that the Nigerian Air Force would soon take delivery of the Agusta 109 Power Helicopter Gunship from Italy.

Apart from acquisition of aircraft, the Air Chief said the Service has also made commendable achievements in the reactivation of aircraft.

“The NAF has so far reactivated 13 erstwhile unserviceable aircraft and was currently carrying out reactivation of another 8. Three L39 trainer aircraft are undergoing a Life Extension Programme (LEP) in Kano, while an Mi 35P and another EC 135 Light Utility Helicopter are also undergoing LEP in Port Harcourt”, he explained.

The CAS added that the overhauling of 3 Alpha Jet aircraft, which started in Kainji late last year, would be completed by the end of the year, saying “I believe that these efforts would substantially add to the capacity of the Service to better secure the country.”

Abubakar reiterated the commitment of the NAF to bridge the gap between Force Projection and Force Protection as exemplified through the training of about 4,000 Regiment personnel and over 1,000 Special Forces (SF) personnel locally and abroad, with assistance from the British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT) and other foreign partners.

The Air Chief added that out of the 1,000 SF personnel, 300 were deployed for internal security operations in Zamfara State and another 300 deployed to Benue State under the Defence Headquarters’ Operation Whirl Stroke.

He also said that the NAF has also secured the approval of the Air Council to establish a new NAF Detachment at Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State.

NAF spokesperson in a statement explained that the Chief of Air Staff Conference is aims at appraising achievements, challenges and projections across NAF Commands and unit in order to ensure enhanced operational effectiveness and efficiency.

He said that it equally provides avenue to obtain feedback from various field commanders while also keeping them abreast of the policy direction of NAF HQ in the months ahead.

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