The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has taken delivery of three JF-17 Thunder Multi-Role attack aircraft acquired from Pakistan which are currently being assembled in Makurdi.
This is just as the Service winged four pilots, comprising two fighter pilots and two combat helicopter pilots, who recently completed their training in the United States of America.
The chief of the air staff Air Marshal Oladayo Amao who disclosed this in his remarks at the winging ceremony and the CAS conference/retreat 2021 at the NAF headquarters said the Force is “faced with several militating challenges such as insufficient number of air assets, vast area of coverage in the various theatres as well as inadequate funding.”
He added that the Service will soon receive the 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft and several Unmanned Aerial Vehicles acquired by the Federal Government for the Service.
“While we may have undoubtedly achieved appreciable results in various Theatres of Operation, including the North East, North West and North Central, I believe a lot more still needs to be done to ensure the secured environment required by the Nigerian people.
“Meanwhile, as you are equally aware, we are faced with several militating challenges; such as insufficient number of air assets, vast area of coverage in the various Theatres as well as inadequate funding.
We are also cognizant of the fact that no nation or organisation can get all that it requires per time, even among the developed nations. Therefore, the onus is on us to work through these challenges and adopt the best operational strategies to achieve the desired results, within limited available resources, while continuously pushing for more.
“We must also look for areas of synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, whilst leveraging one another’s capabilities to secure our nation,” he said.
The CAS said the winging ceremony bears glowing testament to the Service’s commitment towards “enhancing and sustaining critical airpower capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of our national security imperatives.”
“This is based on the fact that we cannot effectively and efficiently employ airpower if we do not have sufficient number of well-trained aviators and support personnel.
Accordingly, we shall sustain our efforts in pursuing purposeful training and human capacity development for our personnel,” he added.