A Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet deployed for ECOMOG operations at the Lungi Airport, near Freetown, Sierra Leone 1999
10 December, 2015
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar expressed confidence that the operational strategies being adopted by the Nigerian troops especially the Nigerian Airforce are yielding positive results in the fight against insurgents in the northeast sub-region.Abubakar disclosed the development in Yola Thursday during a retreat for ECOMOG veterans of the Nigerian Airforce pilots.
Abubakar stated that the Nigerian Air Force has underscored the need for professional and operational trainings and retraining of its personnel to possess the capacity to face the challenges in the 21st century military operations as part of its strategies to confront the insurgents headlong.
According to him the operations in the 21st century is knowledge driven, which underscored the need for continued training and retraining of its personnel in order to be able to contain the challenges in the military operations.He said that the force restricted its resource persons to a number of veterans for maximum effect, while beneficiaries of the training was restricted to air crew pilots and urged the young officers alike to avail themselves of the in-house training which was informal and participatory.
The retreat themed “Air Operations In Counter Insurgency; ECOMOG Operations In Perspective”, involved a business session where the retired, veteran military officers and the serving cross fertilized ideas on military operations, especially their experiences in the 21st century operations”.
Abubakar said the veterans were expected to share their experiences with the young officers with a view to resolving some of the challenges being encountered in air operations in the North East.
“Basically in terms of the use of air power they (fight against Boko Haram and ECOMOG air operations) are basically the same. We believe they (ECOMOG veterans) were very successful, so we want know what were the challenges when they were using the same planes, Alpha jets while operating in ECOMOG. What were the challenges, how similar are the challenges and how they were able to resolve them. We believe there are so many things the younger ones can learn”, he stated.
Abubakar said despite some challenges,the military have succeeded in degrading the fighting capability of the insurgents while coordinating with ground forces to go deeper in to Sambisa forest with a view to meeting the deadline set by the president.
“We have degraded the capacity of the insurgents and we are coordinating with the army so that we can ultimately get in to the forest. You should also know that you have a role to play. I think collectively as a nation, we are moving toward the deadline”, he said.