Saturday, 23 January 2021 17:47

Boko Haram No Longer Has Capacity To Attack Our Assets — Chief Of Air Staff

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, has said that the Boko Haram elements have been seriously decimated by the young officers and men of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Special Forces.

Abubakar  was speaking at the combined graduation ceremony of 676 officers and men of the Air Force from five special forces training at the Regiment Training Centre in Kaduna on Saturday.

Air Marshal Abubakar said, the Air Force can now boast adequate trained men who are capable of protecting the Air Assets.

He stressed that Boko Haram and other criminal elements no longer have the capacity to attack the Air Force base like they did in Maiduguri in 2013.

While stressing the importance of Air Assets protection to national security, the Chief of Air Staff said the Air Force can only protect Nigeria if it can adequately protect its assets.

He said, “We are focusing on training of Special Forces elements because we cannot give what we don’t have.

“Today, our young officers and men are making it difficult for Boko Haram to operate freely because of the training they have received.

“Our special forces are doing an excellent job and the best way to know is with the performance of the regiment personnel deployed to the various conflict areas. Look at those protecting our bases.

“Our base in Maiduguri was attacked in December 2013, but today nobody will try that because we have all the skills and what it takes to defend our bases.

“That is one clear indication that the quality of training is good.

“Apart from that, in some of the conflict areas, the excess capabilities that we have, we have deployed them in support of internal security operations; in Operation Whirl Stroke in Benue, we have over 300 Special Forces elements, and that has helped to keep Benue State quiet.

“There was a time when coffins were just displayed everyday, today, by the grace of God and the hardwork of this team, including our own Special Forces, the place is generally quiet. We have them in Agatu, which was a battle zone.

“In Taraba State, we have another team, dealing with the internal security and keeping close eyes and working with the Army and other security agencies to ensure the ambazonian guys they might want to infiltrate our country are repelled.

“Also in Zamfara State, we have over 300 Special Forces working hand in hand with other security agencies. They are making sure they clear the bandits that are making troubles there.

“In fact, with the results we are getting , so many countries are now indicating interest in having their troops trained here as Special Forces.

“So, we are doing well and we are going to consolidate on that,” the Air Chief said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding Ground Training Command, Air Vice Marshal Idi Amin said a total number of 676 students comprising 3 Students of Basic Regiment Officers Course, 40 students of Regimental Sergeant Major Course, 55 students of Advanced Regiment Airmen/Airwomen Course, 114 students of Intermediate Regiment Airmen/Airwomen Course and 464 students of Basic Regiment Course were trained.

He said with the exception of the Regimental Sergeant Major Course, all the aforementioned courses were also trained on Force Protection in Complex Air Ground Environment (FP-CAGE), a package which he said was hitherto handled by the British Military Advisory and Training Team (BMATT).

He however disclosed that 14 students did not graduate, adding “three were withdrawn for medical reasons, nine were withdrawn for disciplinary reasons while two failed the course.”

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