We’re expecting additional 18 aircraft – NAF

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Tuesday said it was expecting a total of eighteen aircraft, to add to its inventory.

The NAF said within the last three years it has acquired 16 new platforms, adding that 14 others, which were grounded prior to the appointment of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, have since been reactivated.

Chairman of organising committee for the 2019 NAF Day, Air Commodore Nnamdi Ananaba, made the disclosure at a news conference at the Service’s headquarters, to unveil activities lined up for its 55th anniversary celebration.

“The NAF within the last 3 years has taken delivery of 16 brand new aircraft (10 X Super Mushshak, 4 X Mi-35M and 2 X Bell 412 helicopters), while another 18 (4 X A-109 Power and 1 X Mi-35M, 1 X AW139 helicopter and 12 Super Tucano) are either expected soon or have been paid for and are expected to be inducted into Service in 2020.

“In the same vein, 14 previously grounded aircraft such as Falcon 900, ATR-42, Beechcraft, Super Puma, EC-135 Do-228, Mi-35P, F-7 and L-39 have been reactivated”.

As part of measures to bolster the counter-insurgency operations in the North East, Ananaba disclosed that a total of 7000 personnel had been trained in different specialties

He said out of the number, 1000 are specialforces, while 4000 are Regiment personnel.

“Training and infrastructural development have also been on the increase to further develop capacity and capability for the job ahead.

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“Over 7,000 personnel have been trained in different specialties and these include over 4,000 Regiment personnel and 1,000 Special Forces personnel who have been actively involved in combat operations with the army,” he said.

In a related development, Ananaba said all the aircraft in the inventory of NAF, will fly past President Muhammadu Buhari next Monday, in ceremonial salute.

“The highlight of the celebrations will be the ceremonial parade and Order of Battle (ORBAT) flypast at the Eagle Square. This promises to be a thrilling event. It would involve a march-past and silent drill by personnel of the 6 NAF Commands, as well as a capability display by NAF Special Forces and NAF K-9 Unit.

“Additionally, the various aircraft in the NAF inventory will flypast to salute the Guest of Honour (GOH) and the Nigerian people.

“Thereafter, the latest aircraft to be acquired by this administration will be unveiled by the GOH. His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is the Reviewing Officer and GOH,” Ananaba said.