The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) will ensure defeated terror group Boko Haram does not regroup in any part of the northeast as the military focuses on consolidating on the gains it recorded after the fall of Sambisa Forest.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, made this known in Abuja during a press briefing to highlight major achievements and activities of the NAF in 2016.
The CAS said the NAF’s major focus in 2017 will be to monitor every part of Sambisa forest to ensure that Boko Haram group does not regroup anywhere in the northeast. He said the NAF is enhancing coordination with other Services, including the Army and the Navy for proper monitoring and effective control.
“We fly regularly to observe and monitor the works of the ground troops, imagine someone flying eight hours nonstop to conduct Intelligence and Surveillance, all these are done to ensure that Boko Haram does not regroup anywhere in the northeast, we will maintain robust presence and use our air power robustly,” he said.
The Air Chief also disclosed that the NAF has acquired two Mi-35 attack helicopters to fight terrorists and criminal gangs.
He said NAF has also enhanced the infrastructures at the various Air Force bases, declaring that “Unlike what happened in 2013, it is highly unlikely that an attack can be carried out on any of our bases now, it will be suicidal for anyone to attack us because of the enhancement we have done, we also cannot afford to lose any aircraft now.”
The Director of Operations of NAF, Air Vice Marshal Dayo Amao, who read some of the major achievements of the NAF in 2016, said the NAF’s surveillance, intelligence gathering and using air power to soften the ground before ground troops take over contributed greatly to the success in the fight against Boko Haram.