From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Nigeria Airforce has carried out its 2019 counter- terrorism simulation exercise in Niger state in its bid to integrate air and ground counter -terrorism operations along Minna – Zungeru road.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Baba Abubakar said integrating ground and air counter- terrorism operations will go a long way towards combating the increasing banditry attacks and reducing terrorism in the country.
While speaking to newsmen in Minna after the counter -terrorism simulation exercise tagged “Babban Naushi” meaning big punch, Abubakar said that the exercise was carried out as part of the effort of the Nigerian Airforce to find solutions to a number of security challenges confronting Nigeria as a nation.
According to him, “This simulation exercise is one of the exercises the Nigerian Airforce have put together in order to build the required capability so that we can fully integrate air and ground operations.
“Ultimately, our desire is to perfect what we are doing here and to extend it to other sister services particularly the Nigeria army who we are working closely with to come and see how we can work together in order to deal with the problems facing our country” he stated.
Abubakar stressed that air power in combating terrorism is very important in any military operations, “Airpower is very critical to any military operation. It has continued to play a critical role in dealing with security challenges and therefore we are happy that we have a number of assets here.”
The Chief of Air Staff further said that the force is restructuring in a way where they would be more effective and efficient.
“There is no way you can be efficient and effective if you do not analyze the way you do things and your processes. I believe at the end of the exercise, we should be able to identify gaps if there are and try to see how we can fine-tune our tactics, our operations, our doctrines in such a way that it would be more effective to support ground operations. “
Abubakar said that the exercise has enabled them to see how the air projection elements of the Airforce fit in terrorism operation adding that more stimulation operations would be carried out in other parts of the country.
“The exercise has enabled us to see how our air projection elements fit into what is going on generally in the area of counter-terrorism. At the end of the exercise, we will look put for gaps and see how we can bridge that gap.
The Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command Bauchi, JMD Gwani in his welcome address said that the exercise was in line to reposition NAF in response to national security to effectively response to urgent calls assuring of timely logistics availability hence the intensive training in combating terrorism and banditry in the country.
The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello applauded the stimulation exercise said with the level of precision carried out by the men of the Nigerian Airforce, the force would be able to respond to any security challenge urgently.