The United States of America (USA) Government has again assured the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) of its continued support in combating emerging security threats in the Country.
This assurance was given by the Adjutant General California National Guard, Major General David Baldwin, when he paid a courtesy call on the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at Headquarters NAF Abuja.
The Adjutant General reiterated the commitment of the US Military towards strengthening the existing Military-to-Military partnership as well as in ensuring the efficient execution of the contract between the Governments of Nigeria and the USA for the delivery of 12 Super Tucano aircraft to the NAF.
He added that the US Military would also be willing to further collaborate with the NAF in the areas of Air-Ground Integration, intelligence gathering, sharing and pilot training as well as capacity development for cyber warfare, amongst others.
He also noted that the story of the successes recorded in the counter insurgency (COIN) operations in the Northeast of Nigeria would not be complete without due mention of the support and contributions of the US Military and Government to Nigeria.
In his view, he said it was in the interest of the International Community to have a secure and stable Nigeria, given the devastating effects a destabilized Nigeria would have on West Africa and Africa as a whole.
Air Marshal Abubakar, who further solicited for the support of the US Military to achieve the establishment of an Air-Ground Integration School in Kaduna, also lauded the magnanimity of the US Military for training several NAF pilots, including the first Nigerian female fighter pilot, Flying Officer Kafayat Sanni, who, he said, would be winged sometime in the month of October.
The CAS also solicited assistance for the provision of spares and technical support in maintenance of C-130 Hercules aircraft, noting that the NAF had conducted in-country Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) on 2 aircraft and would soon commence work on the third one.
He also stated that the US could still support with additional capability to enhance the process and CAS equally intimated the Adjutant General on the NAF’s preparedness to receive the Super Tucano aircraft.
However, as partners, Nigeria and the California National Guard have had over 100 Military-to-Military bilateral engagements including: Military Intelligence, Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Training, Combat Medic, Military Aviation as well as Military Law and Disaster Response/Emergency Management.