The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), through the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji (AC OPHD) has decimated 7 armed bandits camps and neutralized close to 100 armed bandits in air interdiction missions executed under subsidiary Operation Wutan Daji 2 from 12 – 16 September 2020.
During the subsidiary operation, which was aimed at taking out some identified locations in Zamfara State, including hideouts within the Doumbourou and Kwiambana Forests as well as at Dutse Asola and Dutsen Bagai, the Air Component conducted 18 missions in 82 sorties, flying over 100 operational hours with about 36,000 litres of Jet A1 fuel expended.
Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Director of NAF Public Relations and Information in a statement last night said, This was disclosed today, 17 September 2020, when the Air Component Commander of the Operation, Wing Commander Ahmed Hamidu, briefed the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on the conduct of the Operation.
The CAS, who was in Katsina on an Operational Visit, commended the AC OPHD for the successes so far recorded. He however urged them to sustain the intensity of operations in order to deny the armed bandits safe havens as well as curtail their ability to attack innocent civilians.
“While in Katsina, the CAS also inspected facilities and ongoing projects at the NAF Base and interacted with the pilots as well as other officers, airmen and airwomen of the AC OPHD.
Speaking after the briefing and inspection, the CAS expressed his satisfaction with the level of progress made and results achieved. He therefore commended the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command (AOC SOC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Charles Ohwo, as well as the Air Component Commander and his staff for their commitment towards securing the lives and properties of people in the affected areas.
While stating that the subsidiary Operation WUTAN DAJI 2 was part of the overall effort to eliminate armed bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers and other criminal elements from troubled parts of the North West and North Central Zones of the Country under the Defence Headquarters (DHQ)-led Operation Hadarin Dajii, Air Marshal Abubakar noted that the missions conducted had translated into the relative peace being experienced in Zamfara and surrounding States.
He reiterated that the NAF would continue to work in synergy with the Nigerian Army and other security agencies until lasting peace is restored to all parts of the Country.
The CAS added that he had also noted the infrastructural gaps in the NAF Base Katsina which, he said, the Service is working hard to address in order to ensure that personnel who are conducting combat missions and maintaining the aircraft have conducive work and home environments to enable them be more effective in carrying out their various tasks.
In this regard, Air Marshal Abubakar expressed the appreciation of the NAF to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his immense support that had enabled the Service to acquire new aircraft and reactivate erstwhile unserviceable platforms, conduct robust and result oriented training as well as provide necessary infrastructure and meet other welfare needs of personnel.
He noted that this had empowered the Service to continue to contribute meaningfully towards ensuring the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.
While addressing the personnel, the CAS urged them to continue to contribute their quota towards mission accomplishment. He said HQ NAF, on its part, would ensure the sustained availability of aircraft and associated equipment, along with the necessary logistics support at various airfields.
He therefore urged the personnel not to give the bandits any breathing space but sustain the tempo of operations by locating all remaining bandits’ camps and neutralizing the criminals, wherever they may be found.
The CAS was accompanied on the visit by the Chief of Training and Operations, AVM James Gwani; Chief of Aircraft Engineering, AVM Musibau Olatunji; as well as Chief of Logistics, AVM Mohammed Yakubu, and other senior officers from from Headquarters NAF.
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