By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Oladayo Amao, has promised to ensure adequate welfare for all personnel.
The CAS stated this on Monday during his maiden operational visit to the ATF Headquarters in Maiduguri and the 171 Nigerian Air Force Detachment (171 NAF Det) in Monguno.
A press release by Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola, Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, said the CAS was in the Theatre to assess the conduct of the Counter-Insurgency Operation as well as inspect facilities and ongoing projects.
He said his Administration would give priority attention to the welfare needs of personnel, especially in the areas of provision of equipment, uniforms and kits; prompt payment of appropriate allowances as well as provision of residential accommodation, while in Service, and post-Service housing, for those preparing for retirement.
He commended the ATF for the recent successes recorded in the renewed offensive by the Land and Air Components of OPLD, while stating that the NAF Headquarters would continue to provide all necessary support to ensure “the sustenance of critical airpower capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of national security imperatives”.
The CAS charged the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE (OPLD) to sustain the onslaught against Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT)/Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) elements in the North East of the Country, working in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, in order to ensure total defeat of the terrorists.
The CAS was earlier given an update on the conduct of the ATF’s operations by the Commander ATF OPLD, Air Commodore Abubakar Abdulkadir.
He disclosed that 5 additional new manned aircraft – 12 A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft and 3 JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter jets – as well as 8 new Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) were also being expected to add considerable value to operations within the North East and other Operational Theatres.
In Munguno, the CAS was received by the Commander Sector 3 OPLD/Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Major General Sunday Igbinomwahia, along with his Commanders and Principal Staff Officers (PSOs), before proceeding to HQ 171 NAF Det, where he was briefed on the activities of the Unit by its Commander, Squadron Leader Mohammed Halilu.
The press release said the CAS was accompanied on the visit by the NAF Chief of Training and Operations, AVM James Gwani; Chief of Aircraft Engineering, AVM Musibau Olatunji; Chief of Logistics, AVM Mohammed Yakubu; Chief of Communication Information Systems, AVM Kurotimi Obidake; Chief of Air Intelligence, Air Commodore Friday Ogohi; as well as Directors from HQ NAF.