FROM: PAUL ORUDE BAUCHI
Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar, has said that the establishment of the Special Operations Command by the Nigerian Air force (NAF) has contributed immensely to dislodging Boko Haram insurgency in the north east.
Marshal Abubakar said the involvement of Special Operations by the Air Force has also effectively tackled the menace of cattle rustling, farmer/herdsmen clashes, kidnapping, militancy and other crimes in the country.
The NAF boss made the remark, on Thursday, at the opening ceremony of a two-day NAF Special Operations Conference 2017 held at the NAF Base, Bauchi.
The Chief of Air Staff, who was represented by NAF’s Chief of Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed A. Mohammed, explained that the Special Operations has repositioned the Nigerian Air Force to effectively counter Boko Haram insurgency and other crimes that threatened the unity of the country.
He explained further that worldwide, the employment of the Special Forces by the Air forces offers a multiplier in military operations in general and unconventional warfare in particular.
His words, “The Nigerian Air force as a regional force cannot afford to be left behind in training and building capabilities necessary in keeping the Force steps ahead.”
Te Air Force chief was confident that the Special Operations Command would bridge the gap between the NAF’s force projection and force capabilities.
“Moreover, the employment of the NAF’s Special Forces in synergy with its air operation and other sister services would further provide political leaders a wider gamut of military operations to effectively and efficiently contain current and emerging security challenges,” he said.
He said that the employment of special operations has been vital in sustaining the air operations in the ongoing COIN operations in the north east and a game changer in the fight against Boko Haram
“The dwindling capabilities of the dislodged Boko Haram terrorists and the reduced ability to stage sustained and coordinated attacks is evidenced of the gains of the employment of special operations in synergy operations,” he added.
The Chief of Air staff said that the conference is not only timely, but expedient as “It would afford NAF the opportunity to draw important lessons from battle field experiences and further improve and consolidate on how special forces could better be conducted to ensure the highest levels of operational effectiveness and efficiently.”
Earlier in his welcome speech, the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command, Air Vice Marshal Ismail Kaita, said that the Special Operations Command has recorded immense achievements since its establishment a year ago.
He commended the Chef of Air Staff for his efforts at improving the human capacity development of personnel, professionalism and construction of state-of-the art facilities and infrastructure that have profound effect on the morale of NAF personnel and families.