The Pakistan Air Force has expressed readiness to support the Nigerian Air Force in the ongoing fight against insurgency in the country through training and equipment acquisition.
The Pakistani Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, assured of the commitment of the Pakistan Air Force towards strengthening the strategic partnership with the NAF to enhance professionalism and build needed capacity for the effective and efficient employment of air power in the ongoing fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality in Nigeria.
Khan gave the assurance during a courtesy visit to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar in Abuja.
He restated the commitment of the Pakistan Government to strengthen the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Pakistan, “which had spanned several decades and yielded several mutually beneficial military collaborations”.
According to him, the Pakistan Air Force should be seen as a dependable partner that would continue to give maximum support to the NAF.
He stated further that the Nigerian Armed Forces could benefit immensely from the experiences gained by Pakistan in battling insurgency for over 2 decades to overcome the current security challenges facing Nigeria, noting that there were commonalities which could be shared for mutual benefit.
Khan also commended Air Marshal Abubakar for his “visionary, focused and upright leadership while lauding NAF’s pivotal role in Counter Insurgency (COIN) operations in Nigeria”.
Speaking earlier, Air Marshal Abubakar remarked that Twenty First Century security challenges require strong collaboration and strategic partnerships to successfully overcome them.
He noted that this was the kind of partnership the NAF had enjoyed over the years with the PAF.
The CAS said the visit was yet another strong demonstration of the Pakistan Air Force’s commitment this partnership between the two Countries and Air Forces.
He noted in particular that the story of the successes recorded in the COIN Operations in the Northeast of Nigeria would not be complete without mentioning how the partnership between the Pakistan Air Force and NAF have impacted positively in the successes recorded in the Northeast and other theatres of conflict.
Abubakar recounted several instances when the PAF had gone the extra mile to assist the NAF, including providing the NAF with 4 Super Mushshak trainer aircraft along with instructor pilots and technical crew while NAF’s ordered aircraft were being manufactured.
He remarked that this had enabled the NAF to complete the ab-initio training in record time.
The CAS further disclosed that several NAF personnel had been trained in various specialties in Pakistan, with some currently undergoing training there.
Abubakar also noted that, in furtherance of this partnership, some PAF personnel were also undertaking the Periodic Depot Maintenance on a NAF C-130H aircraft, working hand-in-hand with NAF technicians.
He thanked the PAF CAS for his continued support stating his optimism that his visit would open up more areas of partnership that would take the cooperation to the next level.
The visiting Pakistan Chief of Air Staff is expected to also visit NAF Units and facilities in Kaduna and Lagos.