Air power key in countering terrorism– CAS

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Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, says air power has emerged as the means of choice in addressing threats of violent extremism, terrorism, and insurgency in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Abubakar said this at the opening of the 3rd African Air Forces Forum, organised as part of activities to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF@60) on Thursday in Abuja.

According to him, it is widely acknowledged that Sub-Saharan Africa faces a multitude of national security challenges, including violent extremism, terrorism, and insurgency.

“In addressing these threats, air power has emerged as the means of choice due to its unique characteristics of speed, lethality, and ubiquity.

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“Therefore, this gathering of African Air Chiefs could not have come at a better time than now when the yearning for collaboration towards peace and stability on the continent is at its peak.

“Accordingly, the all-important issue of partnership in aerospace innovation to sustain our air power capabilities, to protect and advance our Defence and Security interests would form the crux of our discussions in this forum,” he said.

The CAS said the forum was a regional platform for advancing air force capabilities and building pillars of bilateral and multilateral partnerships among the air forces of African countries.

He said the forum would offer a unique opportunity for air forces to showcase their technological innovations that contribute to enhance Africa’s aerial defence and security capabilities.

According to him, the theme, “Leveraging Strategic Partnerships in Aerospace Innovations for Regional Security” was carefully coined to reflect a critical aspect of their collective efforts in securing their respective countries and by extension, the continent.

Abubakar said the symposium would facilitate the cross-fertilisation of ideas and the introduction of the latest aerospace and defence systems and technologies in the efforts to provide enduring solutions to Africa’s security challenges.

He expressed appreciation to President Bola Tinubu, for his unflinching support, adding that his visionary leadership had inspired transformative advancements not only in the NAF and all aspects of the national development.

He added that the presence and willingness of the participating air chiefs to share their insights and perspectives had significantly strengthened their collective security.

This gathering, according to him, would undoubtedly deepen our friendships across Africa and around the globe.

Lt.-Gen. Jia Zhigang, Deputy Commander of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Air Force, said that 60 was a magic number in China and a complete cycle symbolising a perfect ending as well as a fresh beginning.

Zhigang wished NAF continuous growth and flourishing with constant development and endless glories.

He said that similarities in history had drawn China and African countries closer in a fight against imperialism, colonialism and racism, adding that the China-Africa relations were on the fast lane.

According to him, people with conscience call for peace and countries with foresight join hands to cope with intertwined turbulence and uncertainties.

“This forum is themed as “Leveraging Strategic Partnerships in Aerospace Innovations for Regional Security”, answers the call of time and presents the responsibilities of airpower that has far reaching significance.

“PLA Air Force highly appreciates this forum for its contribution to regional peace.

“We look forward to working with our counterparts across the world to exchange security concepts, strengthen military to military cooperation, and contribute to world peace with concerted efforts in recent years,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that more than 20 Air Chiefs and other top officers from about 35 Air Forces from Africa, Europe, Asia and America, were in attendance.

There were also more than 40 exhibitors in military technologies and innovations at the event. (NAN) 

By Sumaila Ogbaje

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