• U.S. firm to boost officers on anti-terrorism war
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has appealed to the United States-based manufacturers of the A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), to deliver the facilities to Nigeria in good time.
According to him, the prompt receipt of the fighter jets would enhance the capacity of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in effectively concluding the counter-insurgency operations in the North East. Abubakar made the call at the weekend while receiving a delegation from the company who paid him a courtesy visit at NAF headquarters in Abuja.
The CAS, in a statement through the Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, expressed delight at the support by United States government for the fight against terrorism with the signing of the contract to sell at least two of the aircraft to Nigeria. He noted, however, that the major concern of the NAF was the time frame for their delivery.
The Air Force chief was confident that the counter-insurgency operations in the troubled region would be better executed with the receipt of the light attack aircraft that possess advantages like long range, precision munitions as well as day and night capability. Abubakar urged the U.S. company to hasten production with a view to delivering the jets within the stipulated time to facilitate the ongoing anti-terrorism fight in that part of the federation.
The delegation, which included officials from the Office of Security Cooperation (OSC) of the United States (US) Embassy in Nigeria, was led by the Senior Vice President of SNC, Mr. Taco Gilbert.
The leader of the team assured the CAS of the firm’s determination to deliver quality aircraft capable of providing the needed impetus for NAF’s air operations.
Gilbert also expressed the commitment of his organisation to provide adequate training for the force’s air and ground crew to ensure effective and efficient operation of the planes.
Furthermore, the American said his establishment looks forward to continued collaborations with NAF geared at building a new air capability to address the security challenges in the country.The highlight of the visit was the presentation of a model of the powerful jet to Abubakar.