...Chief of Air Staff calls for calm
By Tarkaa David, Abuja
Twenty-four hours after a Nigerian Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha-Jet went missing in the North-East area on Wednesday, its location is yet to be determined.
This is as the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, on Thursday visited Borno State, where he called for calm as search and rescue operation continued.
LEADERSHIP reports that the NAF aircraft went missing while providing air support to ground troops in the North-east.
Meanwhile, Amao, who arrived in the Borno less than 24 hours after the reported loss of contact with the jet, was briefed on the ongoing search and rescue efforts.
He appealed to NAF pilots, engineers, and technicians on the ground to remain undeterred and resolute in their commitment to ensuring that peace return to the troubled North-East region.
The NAF director of public relations and information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, in a tweet said Amao arrived Maiduguri, the state capital on Thursday morning.
“The CAS, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, @CAS_IOAmao, arrived Maiduguri this morning and was briefed on ongoing search and rescue efforts in connection with the missing Alpha Jet aircraft.
“He also urged pilots, engineers & technicians to remain undeterred & resolute in their commitment to ensuring that peace returns to the North East,” Gabkwet wrote.
Before Amao’s visit, LEADERSHIP had reported how the Alpha-Jet went missing while on interdiction mission in support of ground troops.
The NAF spokesman while confirming the report, said the aircraft lost contact with radar at about 5:08 pm on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
He said search and rescue party had been launched,adding that details will be communicated appropriately.
The statement reads “A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha-Jet has lost contact with radar in Borno State, while on interdiction mission in support of ground troops.
“The mission was part of the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the North East. The loss of radar contact occurred at about 5:08 pm on 31 March 2021.
“Details of the whereabout of the aircraft or likely cause of contact loss are still sketchy but will be relayed to the general public as soon as they become clear. Meanwhile, search and rescue efforts are ongoing.”