Air Troops Will Continue to Crack Down on Bandits - Air Chief Reaffirms As Niger Governor Pays A Condolence Visit

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, on Tuesday, has vowed that the air troops attached to Operation Hadrin Daji and Operation Whirl Punch carrying out operations in both Niger and North West region of the country against bandits will continue to crack down on the non-state actors.

The air Chief made the vow at NAF headquarters in Abuja when Niger State governor, Umar Bago, paid him a condolence visit over the death of his pilots and some soldiers.

The Air Chief who revealed the cause of MI-171 Helicopter, that departed Zungeru Primary School enroute Kaduna but crashed on 14th August 2023 near Chukuba Village in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State said the Nigerian Air Force has continued to increase its air power commitment in both Operation Hadrin Daji and Operation Whirl Punch which directly impact the activities of these criminal elements in Niger State and the North West region as a whole.

According to him, “We are putting a lot initiatives in place to check this. For example, we have adopted the safety management systems in all our operations. We have also adopted operational risk management procedures among others. Going forward, we are striving to achieve zero incident in all our operations. That challenge we’re addressing.

"On our own parts, we are not folding our arms, we are just living with the challenges. The ideal thing is to strive for zero incident and accident in any operational environment.

“We’re striving for that, it is virtually impossible to achieve but then, you strive for it, so that at the end of the day, you minimise whatever happens. Or when it happens, the effect is significantly abated.

Rhe Air Chief noted that as long as they operate and fly in order to degrade the enemies, incident or accident cannot be ruled, adding that the important thing is to ensure the problem is reduced to the barest minimum.

He stated: “As you are all aware, Niger state and indeed other states of the North West region are plagued by the menace of banditry, insurgency and other security challenges. These challenges have continued to threaten the peace and security and well-being of the people.

“I want to assure you that the Nigerian Air Force and the Armed Forces of Nigeria will remain committed, dedicated and undaunted in our efforts at eradicating these security challenges being perpetrated by these non-state actors.

“Our approach now, is to intensify our activities in tandem with the land forces to completely eradicate all these criminal elements, to at least significantly degrade their combat capabilities.

“This is also in tandem with my philosophy which is to transform the NAF into agile and resilient force which is capable of meeting all the air power demands of our national security in all operational environments.

“Despite all our commitment, our dedication and efforts we have put in, to eradicate these security challenges, we have a couple of issues that bother us which one of them is the crash of our air plane yesterday.

“You would have also observed that in the past couple of years, let’s say five, six seven years, we have inducted quite a few platforms in the Nigerian Air Force and the rate of our flying activities have significantly improved.”

Source: Dailytrust 

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