The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, said yesterday that the force would soon deploy two additional helicopter gunships to support the ongoing operations against the bandits in the North-West.
Abubakar told reporters on the sideline of the inauguration of newly constructed accommodation for technicians’ crew and airmen at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Composite Command, Maiduguri that the two additional helicopter gunships would be inducted this month by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Abubakar said: “We are looking forward to acquiring additional platforms. The President is going to induct two additional helicopter gunships this month.
“It will be deployed to the North-West to support our operations, to enable farmers have freedom to cultivate their farmland and feel safe.
“We will continue to work hard to ensure that every Nigerians go about his or her normal business without fear or hindrance.”
On alleged bombing of villagers in Zamfara, Abubakar dismissed the report as misleading, adding that available data indicated that the Air Force only destroyed bandits’ hideouts.
Abubakar explained that the service employed sound surveillance and monitoring modalities to identify its targets and avoid civilian casualties.
Commenting on counter insurgency campaign, Abubakar said that the service was providing support to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole and the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in the ongoing clearance operation against remnants of Boko Haram insurgents in North-East and Lake Chad region.
The air chief noted that his visit to Maiduguri was also to appraise progress recorded in the ongoing operation in the North-East theater of operation.
Abubakar revealed that the service had executed viable projects aimed at improving the well being of personnel and enhance its operations.
According to him, the service has constructed a block of 30-room for airmen and a technician crew room in Maiduguri command, to provide decent accommodation for its personnel.
“It is not only about fighting the war but ensuring that the welfare of personnel fighting the war is well taken care of,” he said.