By Yahaya Isah
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, has said that the military had greatly decimated insurgents and other criminal elements terrorising the country.
Amao said the feat was achieved through the deployment of modern platforms provided to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and sister agencies by President Muhammadu Buhari.
This is contained in a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that NAF and other sister agencies had effectively operationalised the new weapons and platforms in the battlefield.
The CAS made the remarks during an operation tour of 205 Combat Search and Rescue Group, Kerang, Plateau, as well as 22 Quick Response Wing, Lafia in Nasarawa State.
“No doubt that some of the new platforms in NAF’s Order of Battle, particularly the JF-17 Thunder aircraft, the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft and the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are the reasons behind our success.“
He added that more still needed to be done to completely decimate and flush out the remnants of terrorists still preying on soft targets.
Amao warned troops against complacency, as doing so would be harmful to ongoing operations.
He therefore called for extra focus, vigilance and caution.
The CAS intimated the personnel that the service was expecting the delivery of additional new platforms which the President approved for NAF.
“These platforms include: 2 CASA-295 medium airlift aircraft, 2 Beechcraft King Air 360, 4 Diamond DA-62 surveillance aircraft, 3 Wing Loong II UCAVs and 6 T-129 ATAK helicopters.
“Others are: 2 Agusta 109 Trekker multi-role helicopters, 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters and 24 M-346 attack aircraft to boost NAF’s air power employment and projection capabilities as well as air combat training.
“A few of these additional platforms are expected to be delivered to NAF before the end of first quarter of 2023,“ he said.
On the forthcoming general elections, the CAS said that while exercising their constitutional right to vote for any candidate of their choice, the personnel must desist from engaging in active political activities.
`’You must continue to maintain our integrity and neutrality as a service.
“You must also remember that as custodians of Nigeria’s constitution, you must ensure that the public’s perception of NAF and the Armed Forces of Nigeria remains positive and unblemished,“ Amao said.(NAN)