Upgraded Alpha Jet aircraft - NAF 452 and NAF 455

Upgraded Alpha Jet aircraft – NAF 452 and NAF 455. Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet aircraft have undertaken thousands of sorties against hostile targets in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria since 1990. Deployed as part of the 79 Composite Group in N.E Nigeria, they have carried out dozens of precision strikes against insurgent bases in the forests, semi-desert and highlands of Northeastern Nigeria since May 2013

28 November, 2013

NO fewer than 45 Boko Haram terror
suspects have been killed in a combined
two-day ground and aerial operations
at Bitta village in Gwoza Local Council
Area of Borno State, authorities of the 7
Division of Nigerian Army disclosed yesterday.

The 7 Division’s Spokesman, Col.Mohammed Dole, told The Guardian at
their headquarters yesterday that an
unspecified number of wounded
gunmen fled into the adjoining Sambisa Forests and farmlands allegedly used as hideouts.

According to him, the unit relied on
intelligence reports from locals and
bombed the hideouts of terror suspects
with aerial precision at dusk, killing over 45 suspects and wounding several
others, who took to their heels.He noted that the joint operations took place along the 60-kilometre Gwoza-Damboa Road.

“Our operations in the village have succeeded, as the troops acted on the
information provided by the locals,before the Nigerian Air Force (NAF)
personnel raided the hideouts at dusk
for several minutes,” he said. “The operation will continue until all the hideouts and training camps are
destroyed to prevent further attacks on
villages and communities located at the
peripheries of the forest.”

On the efforts of the villagers in the
fight against terrorism in the state, he said the locals were “fully cooperating
with our men, as they know where these insurgents hide and launch attacks on innocent people. “Besides the targeting of terrorists’ hideouts, the villagers are assisting us with credible information on how to dislodge and destroy all the Boko Haram camps and hideouts in this forest that comprises six local councils of the state.”

Nevertheless, he disclosed that since the forest is a difficult terrain for soldiers and other security agencies to conduct successful operations, the 7 Division would continue to rely on information from residents and other locals who know the terrain, including the hills of Gwoza, which is used as hideout.


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. xnur44 says:

    Jolly good! Why did this ops take so long. Like I said previously; this menace need to be plucked up by its roots.

  2. Colonel says:

    I don’t understand, do they just bomb the boko haram areas without making helicopter insertions of special forces to clean up and arrest any remaining insurgents?

    • doziex says:

      Oga Colonel, I have been asking that very question o.

      I understand it is difficult and dangerous work, but that is why we have special forces.

      They can handle it. They just don’t possess the helicopter transports for proper and timely insertion.

      So as the army spokes man admitted, their progress is being hampered by the environment, NOT THE INSURGENTS.

      We urgently Need helicopters in large numbers, say 30 mi-17s. For this heliborne insertion of our troops and spec ops around the deserts, forests and villages of the battle space. (VERTICAL ENVELOPMENT).

      We need this capability all over Nigeria’s difficult terrain, so the terrain doesn’t defeat our brave soldiers.
      We need heliborne maneuvers to search and destroy the herds men running a mock around jos.

      We need this capability in the niger delta.

      And verily, it will solve major problems in the north east.

      12 super pumas and 18 mi-171sh will go along way.

      • Colonel says:

        Oga doziex, your analysis is spot on. I am in total support of procuring massive numbers of military helicopter air support, air ambulance, tactical troop transport, and dedicated attack helicopters.
        Training and re-training of spec ops in search and destroy, dynamic ambush techniques and general CT COIN cannot be over-emphasized.
        In fact, there should be an ongoing troop surge in the North East especially to cover the border areas.
        And if Nigeria’s neighbors fail to man there borders properly, nigerian spec ops should have all latitude for cross border “hot pursuits”.
        Its time to stop all this pussy-footing…

  3. rka says:

    What about the army’s mountain warfare specialists. Are they not being deployed? I agree with everything already stated. It cannot be over-emphasized that follow-up action by boots on the ground is essential in keeping up the pressure, otherwise they will just re-group and take out their frustration on innocent villagers.

    It is appreciated that it is a vast and difficult terrain, hence the clamour for more helicopters and specialist warfare troops.

  4. xnur44 says:

    Peccavi Bang on! The C-in-C has given a precise and definite order to seek, find & destroy any camp. As you know any ops plan is a guide and field commanders are left to improvise as it unfolds. BH made a big mistake; they PANIC when hit at their ‘soft underbelly’. Even if Terminators are shipped in today, we need competent aircrew for those, we’re flying the hell out of Mi-24 aircrew right now, they’re simple overloaded. Congrats! On successful mission *

  5. Solorex says:

    Gentlemen, I stumbled on this; I was just thinking, are we getting more APC’s?

  6. freeegulf says:

    fast movers against insurgents? how long can they continue with this lukewarm tactics to fight guerrillas?

    first of all, kudos to the army and air force. in spite of the rudimentary ground intel, they are still able to act on some actionable intelligence. however, this tactics of just bombing and flushing the insurgents are not sustainable. fighter jets have a role to play in COIN, in the form of fixed ground targets such as training centres, terrorists havens. their cluster bombs, napalms and guided bombs are sure fire!!
    however, the principal weapons of choice should remain rotary wing assets and unmanned aerial vehicles because of their flexibility and versatility.

    our special forces shouldn’t be tailored to american type SF. being spec ops its not all about assault and raids. in fact, three quarters of SF missions are reconnaissance and intelligence gathering. its not just about jumping from plane and helicopters. someone needs to do the tedious ground work. without reconnaissance, there will be few successful air raids and assaults.

    for the SF, missions such as long rang reconnaissance patrol comes to mind. its these patrol groups that can locate, intercept and ambush insurgents groups both in their safe havens and whenever they decide to wreck havoc on innocent citizens.

    the role of NAF rotary wing cant be overemphasized. the mi-24 crews are doing far more than the book stated. this is as a result of shortfalls in assets and trained personnel. these two are critical. they go hand in hand, and NAF has to work a fine balance; helicopter acquisitions and training of air and ground crews to fly and maintain them respectively. NAF is struggling with these role and are unable to keep up with optimum military solution. unfortunately, the army hasn’t filled their ground role completely. so it would be far fetch and unlikely to have them fill the air patrol role by activating their aviation command in the short term.

    UAVs and light aircraft do not need excessive financial investment and their roles are so important that without these nimble aircraft, control of the 3 states will be quite ineffective.

    we can all see that the armed forces are trying their best to be pro active. however, there is a handicap; Hardware. without the necessary tools, these actions would easily be nullified.
    without long range reconnaissance patrol, good number of helicopters, light aircraft, UAVs, it would be difficult to eliminate these vermin both in the NE and the jos plateau.

  7. G8T Nigeria says:

    I don’t think its professional to state the source of the information. Looking at the story, the locals shd as well be ready unless the military is well deployed.

  8. jimmy says:

    oga gt8 @ this point in time” everybody knows where everybody is” nothing absolutely nothing is being compromised . oga doziex/ freegulf hit it spot on we need more insertion and round the clock airtel/ tedious work of the special forces of recon / marking/ interdiction / and elimination.
    What did the army get recently that we do not know? where are those 9 helios are they now in service? do we have the real capability of a sustained three pronged TACTICAL OPERATION AND this is the most dangerous question are we willing to interdict deep in no man’s land between Cameroon and Nigeria ?

  9. gbash10 says:

    The FG would have been informed that for the military operations taking place in the North-East and the Niger-Delta,at least 36-40 helicopters should have been deployed,out of which should be 24 dedicated attack helicopters(Mi-28NE Havoc) and the remaining 16 unit should be transport helicopters(Mi-171 Terminator). Even with that number,I still believe, the number would not be enough!
    The Defence HQs should explained this to Mr President,else we may already be over-working the few Mi-24/35 attack/transport helicopters and its crew as earlier mentioned by Xnur44,and the consequence of that on the human side is fatigue on the crew!
    Good job by our service men and women, God bless and protect you all.

  10. gbash10 says:

    The NAF should refurbish and upgrade its Bo-105 helicopters that are in storage now!

  11. freeegulf says:

    spot on air marshal gbash10. even 3 dozen helicopters would be insufficient to provide optimum air support and utility for the 3 battlegrounds of the ND, the NE, and the jos plateau.
    with the current assets available to NAF, the air crews would eventually get overwhelmed.

  12. freeegulf says:

    @oga G8T, no one is contesting any info or releasing any source. we know what we know. this is algeria all over again. BH is picking soft targets and as attention seekers, their MO would continue to devolve and they would get more heinous. just like oga doziex mentioned, if these SF inserted teams hunt the small insurgents group, they will try and form larger groups for protection. of course, with more assets in the air, boko haram should be unable to herd together as a group with more than 100 terrs. unfortunately, they can still scatter and regroup to continue their barbaric killings
    lack of prominent assets in large numbers will always bring a shortfall to the effectiveness of any pro activeness by the army

  13. tope says:

    Gentlemen our points are very valid, but however let’s see what is going on across the Two major Arms fighting the Insurgency.

    Upgraded Battalions and Brigades, New Division Formations, Special Forces Formations, Upgraded Composite Groups, New Wing Stations, Upgrading and Continouos Refitting of Redudant Airframes, Technology Transfer and UAV Building infact AETSL and Co have done marvelous we understand that the Service Chiefs are building a vibrant Architecture so that a very strong foundation could be made.

    We all know that Funds and Access to it has been the Military’s problem and also proper and sensible Acquisition and Logistic planning also for all operations.

    With what we have currently as we speak we need to fashion ways for the Army and Airforce to carry out its role, like Xnur44 and Pecavvi said a Whole month of Constant Bombardement has made BH none Existent in our Media, what we should pray for is that the many Bilateral agreements bear fruit intime and those Sukhoi’s get Home Quickly!!! Now back to the matter, what kind of sustained approach do you think we should do? Shouldn’t there be Secret deployment of troops dressed as civilians into the targeted areas and from there deployment of all necessary arms and then so when a major strike occurs these troops can do the finishing job?.

    I do believe with the tempo right now if the Military can get Support from Private Companies also it will go a longway to provide necessary arms before the Government kicks in.

    I may be wrong but its worth trying.

  14. beegeagle says:


    Fri, Nov 29 15:06 PM EST
    MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters)

    Nigeria’s military said on Friday that it may have killed more than 50 Islamist insurgents in an airstrike on one of their main bases in the northeast of the country. The latest strikes on Thursday targeted Boko Haram sect hideouts in the Gwoza hills, near the border with Cameroon.

    In May, the military stepped up an
    offensive against the Islamist group,
    which is fighting to establish an Islamic
    state in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous
    country split roughly evenly between
    Christians and Muslims. President Jonathan declared a state of emergency
    and ordered in extra troops.

    “We had intelligence that Boko Haram
    were still hiding somewhere around the
    Bita bush. Some villagers alerted us,”
    Colonel Muhammad Dole, spokesman for
    Nigerian forces in the northeast, told
    Reuters. “We may even have killed more than that 51 because the pilot didn’t capture the images at that time. Our troops are on ground in the area now,” he added, declining to give details of the aircraft used.

    The military often reports large death
    tolls among Islamists in fighting but
    rarely acknowledges significant
    casualties on its side. It is usually
    impossible to verify the casualty figures.

    The House of Representatives, the lower
    chamber of Nigeria’s federal parliament,
    last week approved a six-month
    extension of a state of emergency in
    areas where the offensive is going on.

    Initially, Jonathan’s military campaign
    tempered violence as soldiers wrested
    back control of towns, cities and
    stretches of semi-desert in the northeast.

    But the insurgents have proved resilient. Boko Haram fighters retreated into semi-arid land near the northern border with Niger and steep forested hills near
    Cameroon, from where they have
    mounted deadly counter-attacks and have intensified killings of civilians.

  15. AOk says:

    I agree with the above. Unfortunately, the Nigerian military has descended into the stance the US military took in Vietnam, which is to give numbers of BH killed. Whatever and however accurate / inaccurate the figures are, ultimate determinant of success is quelling and eliminating BH. Until that is done….

    • xnur44 says:

      Agreed, the ability to kill so many does not necessarily guaranty victory. Lets box them in and make them run out of volunteers and material first.

  16. Manny Aydel says:

    I personally commend the Mi-24 and Alpha Jet air and ground crews for their patriotism and sacrifice and sympathise with them and the 7th Div for any losses in personnel in the on-going campaign against BH. Regarding taking on BH who take advantage of the lack of cooperation from our neighbours in this fight, I counsel that we adopt a philosophy that empowers our men and women in uniform to not only “resolutely defend every inch of our territory but correspondingly assert our rights to operate in any territory in pursuit of BH.” The C-in-C must give such an order today and damn the consequences.

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