The Nigerian Air Force is set to deploy air assets as well as Regiment and Special Forces personnel to Gombe State to beef up existing security arrangements in the fight against insurgency and other related crimes in the zone.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this while hosting Gombe State Governor Inuwa Yahaya, at the NAF, Headquarters, Abuja.
According to a statement on Tuesday by the NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, titled ‘Counterinsurgency: NAF set to deploy air assets, special forces in Gombe State,’ the CAS noted that the NAF, in conjunction with other security agencies, would continue to work tirelessly to secure the North-East and defend Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
He appreciated the gesture of the Gombe State Government in providing 230 hectares of land to the NAF for the establishment of a Forward Operating Base which, he said, clearly showed the governor’s commitment towards ensuring the security of the state and the North-East zone.
The statement read, “The CAS remarked that the NAF had flown an unprecedented 26,200 operational hours in the counter-insurgency operations in the North-East, all to ensure the protection of the people and enable them pursue their legitimate aspirations without fear.”
Speaking further, the CAS noted that since 2015, the NAF had significantly increased its presence in the North-East to meet national security imperatives.
“We now have the headquarters of the Special Operations Command as well as a Reference Hospital and the 201 Composite Group located in Bauchi.
“We will also soon flag-off the construction of an aircraft hangar in Bauchi to enhance aircraft maintenance activities within the North-East Theatre,” he disclosed.
The Air Marshal also informed the governor that a NAF team would return to Gombe in the next few days to commence work on the construction of the necessary preliminary infrastructure for the take-off of the FOB.
He noted that, as customary, the NAF would, in the long run, establish medical facilities and schools at the base in Gombe.
Earlier in his remarks, Yahaya noted that the state shares borders with Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic, which, he said, made it vulnerable to a range of security threats.