The Nigerian Air Force has taken delivery of two Agusta 109 power attack helicopters to boost the fight against insurgency, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar announced yesterday.
He added that the helicopters are currently being assembled and would be inducted during the forthcoming 55th anniversary of the Air Force.
According to a statement by the Air Force spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the CAS broke the news to front line troops in Maiduguri while celebrating Easter.
Air Commodore Daramola explained that the Air Chief reminded the troops that there is so much at stake hence the need for troops to clear up remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents from their hideouts.
The statement reads: “The luncheon, which is in keeping with the CAS’ tradition of celebrating festive periods with frontline troops, afforded him the opportunity to interact with the troops in an informal setting to appreciate them for their sacrifices in the fight against insurgency, thereby boosting their morale while also filling the void created by their inability to celebrate the season with their families.”
He added that Air Marshal Abubakar expressed delight to be in Maiduguri and commended the resilience and commitment of the troops in ensuring that Nigeria and Nigerians are safe.
The CAS was as saying that with the support of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the National Assembly, the Air Force would continue to acquire new platforms and build human capacity whilst ensuring the welfare of personnel, in order to effectively and efficiently respond to national security imperatives.
He specially commended the Commander, officers, airmen and airwomen of the ATF for the successes recorded in the fight against the terrorists within the OPLD Theatre as well as in the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) Operation YANCIN TAFKI.
Air Commodore Daramola said: “He equally commended the ATF Commander for the various value adding welfare projects that had been executed to enhance the wellbeing of personnel.
“The CAS reminded the personnel that so much was at stake in the fight to rid the Nation of insurgents, terrorists, armed bandits and other criminal elements.
“Accordingly, he urged them to remain resolute while intensifying their efforts and maintaining continuous vigilance to defend the liberties and values Nigerians hold so dear.
“Air Marshal Abubakar seized the opportunity to thank the government and people of Borno State as well as the Shehu of Borno and other traditional rulers in the State for their continued support to the NAF through the ATF OPLD.
“He equally appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support to the NAF by ensuring the enabling environment and providing the necessary resources for the Service to perform its assigned duties.”