The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya and the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, have demonstrated jointness at the highest echelon of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) as they feted personnel of the Air Component of Operation HADIN KAI (OPHK) to a buffet lunch in Maiduguri on Tuesday to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir festival.
In a statement by the director of public relations and information of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the Chief of Air Staff in his remarks captured the essence of the visit which he said provided an opportunity to, not only bond with frontline troops, but also to promote comradeship and regimentation in the service.
Amao said the lunch also provided an opportunity to remember colleagues who have paid the supreme price in the service of the fatherland.
Air Marshal Amao noted that the security threats currently facing the nation and the challenges therein required the emplacement of a robust security architecture capable of rapid employment of airpower in all spectrums of warfare.
“The paradigm shift in the way air warfare is waged in the fulfillment of mission objectives necessitates a highly versatile Air Force capable of executing a wide range of airpower roles across multiple Theatres of Operation to deal with these security threats,” he said.
He, therefore, commended the collaborative efforts between the NAF and sister agencies which has enhanced operational effectiveness of the entire Armed Forces, while also minimising the threats posed by insurgents.
He assured the gathering that the NAF will continue to enhance its synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, whilst leveraging each other’s capabilities to secure the nation.
Air Marshal Amao stated that the NAF, through the Air Component of OPHK, will continue to perform overly critical roles in providing the much-needed air support for the effective conduct of ground operations by the Land Component.
On the daring survival instincts displayed by Fight Lieutenant Adebayo Dairo, after successfully ejecting from an Alpha-Jet which eventually crashed in Zamfara State, the CAS commended NAF and Nigerian Army personnel, who worked tirelessly to locate the crash site and the pilot’s parachute, while also combing nearby locations for the pilot.
Also speaking during the lunch, the COAS, Lt Gen Yahaya, commended the personnel for their dedication and commitment to counterinsurgency operations under OPHK.
Gen Yahaya went down memory lane to recall his days as the Theatre Commander of OPHK where he enjoyed unfettered access to all the platforms and facilities under the Air Component Commander, while expressing gladness that the cooperation between the Land and Air Components have continued even after his tenure.
Lt Gen Yahaya also singled out the air power characteristics of speed and reach which, when combined with the Army’s ability to hold ground as critical to bringing the current security challenges to a halt.
In eulogising Air Marshal Amao’s leadership acumen which has seen the NAF operate with renewed vigour, the COAS stated that the inspirational leadership style of the CAS was a key factor to the glaring high level of motivation among NAF personnel.
The COAS commended the Air Component Commander and his staff for their commitment and contributions towards ensuring that peace and stability is restored to all parts of the North-East.
The COAS and CAS also took time off to pay a courtesy visit to the governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Zulum.
The governor praised both Service Chiefs for the synergy their seeming joint efforts have brought to the battle against insurgents in the State, while urging them to sustain the momentum.