By TARKAA DAVID, Abuja
Chief of the air staff (CAS) air vice marshal (AVM) Oladayo Amao, has charged the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE (OPLD) to sustain the onslaught against Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs)/Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) elements in the North East of the country while working in synergy with sister services and other security agencies, in order to ensure total defeat of the terrorists.
Air marshal Amao gave the charge on February 8,2021 while addressing personnel during his maiden operational visit to the ATF Headquarters in Maiduguri and the 171 Nigerian Air Force Detachment (171 NAF Det) in Monguno.
In a statement by the director of public relations and information air vice marshal Ibikunle Daramola, the CAS was in Borno State to assess the conduct of the counter-insurgency operation as well as inspect facilities and ongoing projects.
The CAS who arrived Maiduguri in company of his counterpart, the chief of army staff, major general Ibrahim Attahiru, commended the ATF for the recent successes recorded in the renewed offensive by the Land and Air Components of OPLD.
He said the NAF Headquarters would continue to provide all necessary support to ensure “the sustenance of critical airpower capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of national security imperatives.”
In his address, the CAS, who was briefed on the conduct of the ATF’s operations by the commander ATF OPLD, air commodore Abubakar Abdulkadir, conveyed the appreciation of President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the minister of defence, major general Bashir Magashi (retired), goodwill to the personnel for their relentless efforts in
the fight against insurgency.
He equally thanked the personnel for the prayers and congratulatory
messages that followed his appointment as CAS.
He said in line with the C-in-C’s mandate as well as the minister’s
strategic guidance, he had crafted his Vision for the Service, which
he disclosed, is “to enhance and sustain critical airpower
capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of
national security imperatives.” He disclosed further that the Vision
is hinged on 5 Key Drivers, which include: ‘focus on doctrinal
development and application of airpower in Joint military operations’;
‘pursuit of purposeful training and human capacity development’ as
well as sustenance of platforms and equipment serviceability through
innovative maintenance methods and logistics support systems’.
He highlighted that the other key drivers are ‘fostering a disciplined
workforce essential for combat readiness’ and ‘bolstering morale by
improving personnel welfare’.
He noted that the president had given the chief of defence staff,
along with the service chiefs, the onerous task of bringing the war
against insurgency to a decisive end in order to restore normalcy to
all troubled parts of the country.
He disclosed that they had already begun to take action in this
regard, holding several meetings to evolve strategies for better
synergy in the joint operations.
The CAS therefore charged all personnel to do their own bit towards
the attainment of this noble objective.
Speaking further, the CAS noted that the focus on joint doctrinal
development was premised on the fact that new ways of doing things
needed to be evolved in order to achieve better, longer-lasting
He added that, in terms of pursuing purposeful training and human
capacity development, the Service would sustain and build on the
capacity building initiatives of his predecessor, whilst ensuring that
training is robust and balanced with regard to quality and quantity.
AVM Amao also emphasized that, in sustaining platforms’
serviceability, the Service would continue to leverage on the
acquisition of new platforms, whilst ensuring effective maintenance of
existing ones. In this regard, the CAS noted that, in addition to the
23 brand new aircraft acquired for the Service by the Federal
Government, 15 additional new manned aircraft – 12 A-29 Super Tucano
attack aircraft and 3 JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter jets – as well
as 8 new Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) were also being
expected. He noted that these additional new aircraft would
undoubtedly add considerable value to operations within the North East
and other Operational Theatres.
Speaking on welfare issues, AVM Amao disclosed that his administration
would give priority attention to the welfare needs of personnel,
especially in the areas of provision of equipment, uniforms and kits;
prompt payment of appropriate allowances as well as provision of
residential accommodation, while in Service, and post-Service housing,
for those preparing for retirement.
The CAS further commended the ATF commander as well as his officers,
airmen and airwomen for their hard work and dedication to duty which,
he said, was evident in the intensive rate of effort, with missions
being conducted day and night to attack terrorists’ targets as well as
provide support to ground troops, whenever required.
In Munguno, the CAS was received by the Commander Sector 3
OPLD/Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Major General Sunday
Igbinomwahia, along with his Commanders and Principal Staff Officers
(PSOs), before proceeding to HQ 171 NAF Det, where he was briefed on
the activities of the Unit by its commander, squadron leader Mohammed
As in Maiduguri, the CAS also commended the personnel for their
crucial contributions in the fight against insurgency, urging them to
sustain the high level of professionalism in the performance of their