Armed Banditry: Air force Chief tours Site for FOB, Pays Courtesy Call on Emir of Birnin Gwari

Wed Nov 7th, 2018 - Abuja (FCT)

By: Kingsley Omonobi, Joseph Erunke-Abuja

…Trains 701 officers on Force Protection in complex ground environment

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on Tuesday, 6 November 2018, conducted an inspection tour of the proposed site for a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State.

Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar

The establishment of the FOB, along with a helicopter landing pad and support facilities, is aimed at enhancing NAF’s response capability in dealing with security threats within the area, working in synergy with other security agencies.

The CAS, who was accompanied on the visit by other senior officers from NAF Headquarters, also seized the opportunity to pay a courtesy call on the Emir of Birnin Gwari, Mallam Zubairu Jibril Mai Gwari II, at his Palace.

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Speaking during the courtesy call, the CAS expressed appreciation to the Emir for receiving him and his entourage at the palace.

He noted that the NAF has been extremely fortunate within the past 3 years under the leadership of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, who had facilitated the purchase of 18 brand new aircraft for the Service and also provided resources for the reactivation of 13 hitherto unserviceable aircraft; with another 2 in the process of being reactivated.

He stated that these interventions had made it possible for the NAF to operate in multiple theatres simultaneously, with aircraft deployed for operations against Boko Haram Terrorists in the North East as well as against armed bandits in the North West.

Moreover, the CAS observed that NAF aircraft were also deployed for internal security duties under Operation Safe Haven in Jos and Operation Whirl Stroke in Makurdi, among others.

In addition, he stated that the NAF had established Quick Response Wings (QRWs) at Nguroje in Taraba State and Agatu in Benue State, with Special Forces personnel deployed at these locations, and would soon activate another QRW at Doma in Nasarawa State.

Speaking further, Air Marshal Abubakar noted that all these deployments had enabled the NAF to more effectively and efficiently employ air power in response to national security imperatives.

He emphasized that the need to better engage the evolving security situation in the Zamfara-Katsina-Kaduna States Corridor informed the decision to establish an FOB in Birnin Gwari.

He noted that, while fixed wing aircraft would continue to operate from Kaduna and Katsina, and other helicopters operate from the helipad at Gusau, the FOB would allow for helicopters to operate from Birnin Gwari to ensure swifter response, enhanced coordination with other security agencies and even more effective execution of air operations against the armed bandits in the area.

The CAS ended by specially thanking the Emir and good people of Birnin Gwari for the support and cooperation extended to the NAF and other security agencies operating in the area.

Responding, the Emir of Birnin Gwari, expressed delight in finally meeting the CAS in person.

He stated that the visit of the CAS further reinforced the unwavering commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari towards ensuring peace and stability in the Northwest and indeed the entire country, having previously also received the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police at his Palace.

He therefore commended the Federal and State Governments for their tireless efforts at ensuring that the security challenges in Birnin Gwari are adequately addressed.

He said he was delighted that the NAF was establishing an FOB in the town and pledged the total support of the Emirate for the FOB.

He remarked that he would be willing to donate as much land as the NAF would require building a full-fledged Base, if needed.

In a similar vein, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has inaugurated the Force Protection in Complex Air Ground Environment Course (FP-CAGE Cse) 7/2018 aimed at equipping NAF personnel with necessary skills to tackle asymmetric and dynamic security challenges in the country.

The inauguration of the Course, comprising 701 participants, took place on Tuesday, 6 November 2018, at the Regiment Training Centre (RTC), NAF Base Kaduna.

Speaking during the event, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Air Officer Commanding Ground Training Command, Air Vice Marshal Idi Amin, expressed profound appreciation to the British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT) for its contributions and commitment in ensuring that the RTC remains a centre of excellence.

Air Marshal Abubakar charged the students to remain dedicated, focused and disciplined throughout the Course to enable them get the best from the Instructors’ wealth of knowledge and experience.

He also expressed his immense appreciation to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, for his support towards ensuring that the NAF is better equipped to fulfill its statutory responsibilities.

The CAS reiterated NAF’s commitment to ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians and upholding democratic ideals for the progress and collective prosperity of the nation.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Commandant RTC, Wing Commander Steven Sekegor, stated that the one-month Course would incorporate drills in a complete array of both combat and non-combat scenarios in offensive and defensive operations, enabled by information superiority.

He said it had been deliberately structured to be very intensive to make it effective and efficient in training personnel to meet the ever changing complexities of military operations during war and peace time, while also furnishing them with the requisite skills and competencies to effectively carry out their duties of securing NAF assets for sustained operations.

The RTC, in partnership with BMATT, has ensured that modern training techniques are incorporated in the FP-CAGE curriculum to meet the asymmetric and dynamic challenges confronting the nation. The Centre has so far trained 2,208 personnel in FP-CAGE.




source: Vanguard