A Nigerian Air Force C130-H30 on the tarmac at Kaduna prepares to depart for Mali

A Nigerian Air Force C130-H30 on the tarmac at Kaduna, NW Nigeria

8 January 2014
By Augustine Osayande,
Source: CAJ News

NIGERIA’S Defence Ministry said it had
evacuated more than 800 Nigerians that were under threat from the political turmoil in the crisis-ridden Central African Republic. This is half the number of locals that had sought refuge in the embassy in Bangui, the capital of the Central African country.

Director of Defence Information,Major
General Chris Olukolade, said the Ministry deployed a Nigerian Air Force Charlie 130 aircraft with compact medical and welfare personnel to ensure effective evacuation of the distressed Nigerian citizens.

“Apart from the C130 aircraft provided by the Defence Headquarters the Federal Government has also arranged several chartered flights to bring home the over 1,620 Nigerians who were sheltered at the Nigerian Embassy in Bangui.

“About 831 Nigerians comprising men, women and children have already been airlifted home safely since the commencement of the exercise on January 3, while the medical team from the Defence Headquarters has been on ground to offer medical assistance to the
sick and the injured,” he said.

He added that Nigerian Embassy officials have expressed optimism that with the Defence Headquarters intervention and the two other planes chartered by the Federal Government, the evacuation exercise will soon be completed.

The Chief of Defence Staff has assured
that the NAF C130 aircraft would
continue the evacuation exercise until
the last displaced Nigerian citizen in the Central African Republic is brought home safely.

He commended the French forces,who
he said are securing the Bangui International Airport for cooperating
with the Defence Headquarters team and facilitating the successful evacuation of Nigerians.

The Central Africa Republic conflict
started in December 2012 between
government forces and rebel groups.


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. drag_on says:

    Well done.It’s good to know that your country will do whatever it can to help you when you need evacuation from a troubled country.Keep up the Good work. NAF

  2. Yagazie says:

    I had earlier criticized the CAS for not ensuring that the NAF took part in the evacuation of nigerian nationals from the Central African Republic. I take that back.

    Kudos to the NAF (and yes in this intance the CAS too) for ensuring that one of our heavy tactical transport planes together with a medical/welfare team was actively involved in the evacuation of our citizens in that troubled country.

    This once again underscores the importance of having a well funded and equipped airforce which can assist civil authorities in humanitarian/disaster relief efforts when required.

    Kudos also to NEMA and their staff for doing a stirling job in bringing our citizens back home.

    • Are James says:

      At the risk of seeming negatively inquisitive, will ride on just this point and ask the question; where was the civil aircraft that the NAF acquired at this time? Why did it not take part in the evacuation?

      • menatti says:

        NAF didnt acquire that 737. It was a JV with some individual. Anyway as it is not an Airforce plane it needs civil reg and i heard its almost out so it should be flying soon(Topefully)

  3. beegeagle says:

    This practice needs to be deepened. Nigeria cannot afford to treat over 20 million Nigerians in the diaspora as if they are illegitimate citizens.

    We noted the fact that Nigerians were evacuated from Libya and as recently as December 2013, from Saudi Arabia.

    Good one from the FG. Keep it up. That evil spirit of “every man for himself” must be killed off.

  4. gbash10 says:

    Well done to the NAF.

  5. peccavi says:

    Who dash them well done? You know Chad and Cameroun did theirs before Christmas? If not for pressure from the Press nothing would have happened.
    If we keep expecting mediocrity it is what we will get in return. That they have finally woken up 3-4 weeks after the emergency started is not something to appalud. We can and should do better

  6. rka says:

    I agree with Oga Pecavvi that it should have been done much earlier i.e. when it was an emergency. What would have happened if there had been mass killings of Nigerians? How would the authorities have explained their lethargic response?

    Anyway, better late than never.

  7. jimmy says:

    Both of you guys are on point , however just like oga yagazie pointed out, The CAS has been under withering criticism from well meaning people including myself on this blog. i had also spoken about how our c-130 was sitting on the tarmac. Just as forcefully I will say job well done , Please organize the airlift sooner and thank you France for securing the airport.

  8. jimmy says:
    This is proof that those ” shot callers” read this blog. oga Menatta please forgive me if i spelt your name wrong i am typing on the way to a meeting. This is what WORKS in NIGERIA. unfortunately a closed mouth does not get fed as we say in America. This marks the first link where the CAS is asking for more.

    • drag_on says:

      The CAS spoke about their desire to build airframes.I would definitely support that desire if they add medium lift turboprop transport aircraft to that list,the offshoot would be tremendous. The ability to build and service turbo-prop or prop engines and their fuselages would not only make our army very mobile,but would transform civil aviation in Nigeria. Such planes would be cheap to run and maintain by Nigerian airlines(civil variation) esp as it would be initially used for cargo transport to hard to reach areas. Maintenance would be in-house,cheap for the airlines and bring in money for the air-force.The key word Nigeria needs to look at is capacity and capability. It is just as important as sophistication and is indeed the first steps necessary to reach that summit. Lets start building cheap cargo transport planes,and then ramp up the sophistication from there.You cant fly at Mach 1 if you don’t know how to fly.

      • jimmy says:

        Amen .We have to start somewhere when yanga reach certain level man has to figure these tings out o. T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

  9. Mudi says:

    Kudos naf

  10. ifiok umoeka says:

    Like I said earlier, its good news and yes it should have been done earlier but well done all the same! (Ide like say, all these politics dey distract from thing wey them suppose do!)
    As for the CAS, while I applaud the build it ourselves approach, he didn’t mention anything about the mammoth elephants in the room! No funds for more platforms and upgrading the older ones, no funds 2 better secure the bases, no funds for say upgrade our air defense (those rolands, manpads and ack ack done old’o) and some integrated defense system, not flankers, trainers, no…???
    The navy had put up a blue print on where they intend 2 be over 10yrs, I don’t know if the air force has same!
    Like I said, great thinking with regards 2 becoming self reliant over time, but while we wait for that, can we replace some of our platforms in view of our present challenges? I would have thought that was a good place 2 start

  11. Talk is cheap. What have they put in place on ground to achieve this?

  12. Donian007 says:

    Comrades, I came across info on a nairaland thread, some fella hinted that the NAF might be making secret arrangements to acquire the SU 27 Flanker + training manpower for that purpose in Russia. Pls has anyone come across that info here?

    Again, globalsecurity website about NAF’s current assets includes two SU 25s. There is too much sketchy news on NAF procurement, from L15 to JF17 to SU25 to SU27 to Super Tucano… habaa!

    Though I’m a bit delighted because that we are getting more helos.

    • beegeagle says:

      What they have done for 2013 and 2014 on the attack/assault helicopter front is admittedly a break from the meaningless token gestures of yesteryears – such as buying Hind attack helics in annoying pairs and triads.

      What we know, from SIPRI log entries and from Budget Office data, is that we shall be getting

      – three units of Mi-35(Mi-24V) or Mi-35P attack helics

      – six units of Mi-171Sh Terminator assault helics

      – six units of Mi-35M attack helics

      That makes fifteen plucky combat helics.

      If they had been doing this for two straight years in every five-year cycle since 1999, we would have amassed 45 units of these platforms and COIN operations would have been a lot easier on the troops.

      Perhaps we finally have a plan.

  13. Yagazie says:

    Oga Donian007 – the two SU 25s belong to the Niger republic Airforce. Global security website made an error mistaking ‘Nigeria’ for ‘Niger’. That issue has been dealt with conclusively in earlier postings (in 2013) on this blog.

    Regarding the L15/J-17/Super Tucano procurements- I stand to be corrected by those with a better grasp of aviation matters than myself but to the best of my knowledge, there is nothing concrete yet, though there are strong indications that the NAF intends to purchase the block 2 version of the J-17 Thunder fighter from Pakistan. The ‘secret arrangements’ to acquire SU27 Flanker aircraft is still ‘speculations’ or as I would call it ‘bible story’. The only confirmed purchases are the russian helicopters you had referred to.

    On another point, it would be quite helpful if the NAF could update its website to include news of procurement, achievements and training news/upcoming air exercises.

    I would also respectfully suggest that the CAS borrow a leaf from the CNS and issue a blueprint (like the naval SG-01 and SG-02) on what the airforce intends to achieve in the short, medium and long term.

    • Are James says:

      Good idea on the long term strategic road map for NAG. Typically this should derive from a ‘live’ defence policy document developed around avscenarios kind of thinking about future threats. The document woukd then form the basis for developing service specific strategic directions like NN’s SG-02 .
      Procurement then does not become a problem to finance because politicians come and go but a ten year expenditure profile for weapon platforms, training and facilities are clearly visible as backbone expenditure like the specified in the MDG document.
      The know how to develop all these kind of road maps are taught routinely at Jaji and NIPSS, Kuru.

      • jimmy says:

        The point that has been made by my fellow cybergeneral is of great importance.The naf needs as has been said needs to borrow a leaf from the navy in terms of a strategic plan.they need to go further they need to find a voice in the senate who will take up their interests money wise most especially during the most crucial. Extra budgetary allocation period. I do not want to discount the formation of an NAF war college@ maybe markudi or somewhere even like sokoto or zaria? However their immediate need right is a 4th gen dual fighter and the three types of helios especially the troop carrying, assault, and utilty. T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

  14. rka says:

    @Donian007, I have seen that info as well and it may have an ounce of credibility. The Chap said he heard the info from an officer. He also said some of his course mates are in Russia at the moment.

    I have just asked him to confirm whether they are there being trained as pilots or another trade and will await his response (it could well be they are training for the helos as another Nairalander mentioned the MiI Helos we were expecting and he was responding to that.)

  15. Tope says:

    Hey guys if u read that article in the SUN that Oga jimmy posted it shows that the NAF HQ understands the need to have such airframes but also know what relying on Foreign Aid or Foreign Airframes has led to, so its clear their Vision and Focus is Local Defence Industry Development I suggest they upscale DICON Air Arm to the AFIT University they wish to establish so the students are immersed straight into Defence Development Phase as quick as possible. Be that as it may we on this platform urge the CAS to go for more Helos as we wait delivery of da 15 Helos we ask for more Light Attack, Transport and Utility Helos plus get Brazil to give us Super Tucanos and China da L-15s at least!.

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