14 February, 2013
The Defence Headquarters has increased
the number of military personnel on
deployment to the African-led International Support Mission in Mali to 724.
A Defence Headquarters statement by the Director of Defence Information, Col. Mohammed Yerima, statement that the 724 troops comprised 424 personnel of the Nigerian Army and 300 Air Force personnel.
The Chief of Army Staff had said during a press briefing in Abuja on Monday that some of the soldiers penciled down for deployment to Mali were undergoing training in Sokoto and other training centres of the Army
Yerima said the DHQ had also ensured the deployment of heavy weapons, ammunition, vehicles and equipment. Yerima said the Nigerian Air Force already had two alpha jets and a M135 expected to provide cover for ground troops during operations from their operational base in Niamey, Niger.
He said, “Defence Headquarters has increased the number of Nigerian troops to the AFISMA. As at present the Defence Headquarters has deployed a total of 724 troops, made up of 300 Nigerian Air Force personnel and 424 Nigerian Army personnel.
“Also deployed are heavy weapons, ammunition, vehicles and equipment. “The Nigerian Air Force assets in the operation include two Alpha jets and one MI35 which will provide interdiction and close air support to ground troops; they are based in Niamey, Niger Republic. We will continue to provide you with updates as events unfold.”