The Nigerian Air drive (NAF) personnel and its plane deployed within the counter insurgency/banditry operations throughout the county have recorded vital successes in latest months via renewed bombardments of insurgents and bandits enclaves. BENJAMIN SAMSON on this report examines how the management type of Chief of the Air Employees (CAS) Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao is altering the narrative within the air operations.
The Nigerian Air drive and floor troops have been within the forefront of Nigeria’s counter insurgency operations towards Boko Haram /Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists within the North-east and bandits terrorising harmless communities within the North-west and a few elements of North-central areas.
Since his appointment because the twenty first Chief of the Air Employees (CAS) by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 26, 2021, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao has left no stone unturned in making certain that the Nigerian Air drive (NAF) optimally performs its constitutional function. He has vigorously pursued his imaginative and prescient for the NAF which is, “To boost and maintain essential airpower capabilities required for joint drive employment in pursuit of nationwide safety imperatives”.
To successfully pursue this imaginative and prescient, Air Marshal Amao formulated 5 key divers of his imaginative and prescient that are; give attention to doctrinal growth and software of airpower in joint atmosphere, pursuit of purposeful coaching and human capability growth, sustenance of platforms and tools serviceability via modern upkeep strategies and logistics assist methods, foster a disciplined workforce important for fight readiness and bolster morale by enhancing personnel welfare.
Considerably, the visionary and purposeful management of the CAS has in no small measure boosted the morale of officers, airmen/airwomen and pilots deployed within the battle towards insurgents and bandits.
As a part of his dedication to sensible management, Air Marshal Amao has on a number of events visited and interacted with frontline troops of the Air Element Operation HADIN KAI within the North-east and Operation HADARIN DAJI within the North-west with a view to increase their morale and to know their challenges first hand with a view of addressing them.
As an illustration, throughout a type of assembly with frontline Air Officers Commanding (AOC) and Air Element Commanders (ACCs) on the NAF Base just lately in Kaduna, the CAS charged the Nigerian Air Power (NAF) operational Commanders within the varied theatres of operation throughout the nation to ‘present no mercy’ and guarantee they make use of most firepower towards terrorists posing safety threats within the nation.
Doing so, in accordance with the CAS, will deny the terrorists freedom of motion whereas boosting the boldness of the populace and making certain a peaceable nation.
Likewise, you will need to notice that since assuming workplace, President Muhammadu Buhari has totally supported the Armed Forces of Nigeria on the whole and certainly the NAF specifically via the procurement of recent platforms to allow them obtain their set goals.
The Director of Public Relations and Data of the NAF, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, instructed Blueprint that the federal authorities between 2015 and 2022, has acquired 38 new platforms for the NAF.
A number of the newly acquired platforms embody; 10 Tremendous Mushshak coach plane, 5new Mi-35m Helicopters gunships and a couple of Bell 412 helicopters.
Others embody 4 Augusta 109 Energy assault helicopters, 2Mi-171E helicopters, 3 JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter plane and A-29 Tremendous Tucano plane.
A number of Unmanned Aerial Autos have been additionally procured to spice up NAF operational capabilities.
Air Commodore Gabkwet mentioned, “With extra platforms, positively the attain of the NAF is prolonged and by implication, its firepower can be elevated towards all enemies of the state.
“Thoughts you additionally that among the new platforms use precision guided munitions which makes it simpler to choose and hit on particular targets with very minimal collateral damages,” he added.
Equally, in pursuit of the second key driver of his imaginative and prescient, which is to pursue purposeful coaching and human capability growth and in a bid to lift the competence stage of personnel in order to include insurgency and different safety challenges within the nation, Air Marshal Amao has ensured that the NAF personnel obtain greatest trainings each at house and overseas.
To this point, a complete of 73 pilots have been educated Belgium, Egypt and Pakistan, amongst others since this administration assumed workplace. Additionally, many college students’ pilots are at the moment present process coaching in South Africa, United States of America in addition to in NAF coaching institutes in Nigeria.
Equally, many officers, airmen/airwomen have undergone various coaching programs at house and abroad slicing throughout a number of specialties and commerce.
Talking earlier this yr when NAF winged 5 new pilots after present process requisite programs, Air Marshal Amao, mentioned the ceremony highlighted the dedication of his management to maintain essential airpower functionality required for joint drive employment in pursuit of nationwide safety imperatives.
“ Ninety-nine officers and 24 airmen and airwomen are present process varied coaching throughout varied specialties in varied nations together with the USA, UK, South Africa, India, France Egypt and Pakistan amongst others.
“As well as 2,656 Nigerian Air Power personnel throughout all specialties are being educated to ship airpower in gentle of NAF’s involvement in theatres of operations throughout the nation,” he mentioned.
Additionally, as a agency believer in welfare of officers and males, the CAS has gone out of his method to increase the morale of personnel via promotion of personnel and immediate fee of allowances.
Certainly Air Marshal Amao’s proactive management type and rearmament of the NAF by the federal authorities have mirrored within the successes being recorded in theatres of operations throughout the nation.
It has yielded ends in the battle towards insurgency, banditry, kidnappers, cattle rustling and different legal parts. Many terrorists and armed bandits have been neutralised whereas a number of others have been arrested. As well as, 1000’s of terrorists (combatants and non-combatants) and their households have surrendered to troops of Operation Hadin Kai within the North-east.
Particularly, the Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, Maj. Gen. Christopher Musa just lately mentioned over 80,000 Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists and their households give up to the federal government within the final one yr.
Maj.-Gen. Musa attributed the success of the army to the brand new wave of bombardments of the terrorists’ enclaves by NAF fighter jets within the area which led to critical degradation of the insurgents and the dying of lots of their commanders.
Terrorists’ commanders neutralised
Equally, in the previous few months, prime Boko Haram/ISWAP and bandits commanders have been neutralised by NAF airstrikes. Their amenities and buildings have additionally been destroyed.
Particularly, troops of the Air Activity Power (ATF), Operation Hadin Kai within the North east, via precision airstrikes on August 3, 2022 on Mandara Mountain in Gwoza native authorities space of Borno state, neutralised a infamous commander of Boko Haram, Alhaji Modu, also called ‘Bem Bem’. Modu was killed alongside 27 different terrorists.
In a associated growth, the air part of Operation HADARIN DAJI within the North-west carried out one other precision bombing on recognized infamous terrorists leaders Gwaska Dankaramis camp at Mashekari space in Zurmi Native Authorities Space and Sani Dangote Camp in Farara village in Jibia Native Authorities Space of Katsina state.
Following the airstrikes, a suspected terrorists chief recognized as Dogo Rabe and seven members of his gang have been reportedly neutralized within the encounter whereas different fled in disarray.
Moreover, the air part of Operation HADARIN DAJI on 13 September 2022 carried out air interdiction operation at recognized terrorist hideout in Dutse Babare in Jibia Native Authorities Space of Katsina state. The air strike led to the neutralization of a terrorist chief recognized as Ibrahim Dangawo and different members of his gang.
Comparable operation was carried out at Gidan Guga in Faskari Native Authorities Space additionally in Katsina state, at an recognized terrorist enclave. The airstrike led to the neutralization of a terrorist kingpin generally known as Babaru who has been on the wished record of safety brokers.
Additionally, NAF plane below the Air Element of Operation Hadin Kai, whereas performing on credible intelligence struck a goal at Somalia in Sambisa Forest suspected to be a terrorist hospital and well being care facility on 9 September 2022.
Somalia, a location close to SAMBISA Forest, was believed to be the place the terrorists have a medical facility the place wounded fighters in addition to these critically ailing have been. After the air strikes, a number of buildings have been noticed destroyed and quite a few terrorists neutralized.
Comparable profitable operations have been additionally carried out by the NAF in Kastina, Kaduna, Zamfara and Niger states.
Considerably, the successes of the NAF bombardments in latest months attracted the commendation of the Senate President Ahmed Lawan when he mentioned that the safety state of affairs within the nation has improved previously one month.
Lawan famous this throughout an occasion themed, ‘Nationwide Coverage Dialogue on Corruption and Insecurity in Nigeria,’ organized by the Unbiased Corrupt Practices and different associated offences Fee, in Abuja on Friday ninth September, 2022.
He mentioned, “Safety state of affairs within the nation has improved within the final one month. Solely just lately, President Muhammadu Buhari gave a marching order to the Armed Forces to extinguish bandits, kidnappers and different legal brokers which can be towards the state and her residents, by December 2022.
“This administration is dedicated to reaching this set goal. Accordingly, the previous few weeks have seen safety companies flushing out terrorists from their hideouts in Kaduna Birnin-gwari axis, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto. Comparable outcomes have been recorded in Niger, the place, like in Kaduna, the Nigerian Air drive neutralised many terrorists.”
Air Commodore Gabkwet enjoined Nigerians to proceed to supply safety companies with credible intelligence that may allow the companies monitor and neutralize the terrorists and all legal parts.