•Commends logistics support efforts
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, has urged the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to plan for the most audacious battle and highly skilled personnel in anticipation of the existing and emerging security threats in the country.
Olonisakin gave this charge on Tuesday, during the Logistics Command (LC) Air Logistics Support Simulation Exercise (SIMEX) held at 631 Aircraft Maintenance Depot (631 ACMD), Lagos.
The SIMEX dubbed “OMO OLOJA”, meaning “the Trader” or “Peddler of Goods”, was designed on a scenario based on the need to provide rapid airlift of humanitarian relief materials to a fictitious nation of 37 provinces which had been devastated by natural disaster.
The CDS in a statement on Wednesday by the Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, expressed delight to flag-off such a significant exercise because of the importance of logistics to the successful conduct of contemporary military operations.
“Without logistics, success cannot be guaranteed. You may plan the most audacious battle, manned by the most highly skilled personnel with the most advanced weapon systems; but if you don’t have ordinary drinking water for the troops, or lack the capacity to move men and materiel to the right place at the right time; all may come to nothing. That is why it is often said that ‘if you don’t have logistics you don’t have anything”, he said.
Olonisakin however, commended the NAF for its continued delivery of credible Air Power in the North East and other parts of the country as well as across the West African Sub-Region.
He lauded the Air Force for its robust human capacity building initiatives which had enabled the Service perform its constitutional roles creditably.
He also commended the CAS for organizing the SIMEX which, he said, would further build NAF’s capacity to provide efficient and timely logistics support for the effective conduct of operations of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The CDS also seized the opportunity to thank the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, for making the modernization, re-equipping and continuous training of the Nigerian Armed Forces a top priority.
In his remarks, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stressed the importance of Air Power in modern warfare not only in offensive and defensive roles but also in collection of credible and timely intelligence as well as the swift and efficient airlift of forces within and across theatres of operation.
He noted that the security challenges currently facing the country and the West African Sub-Region would continue to make Air Power imperative for the effective discharge of Nigeria’s obligations in ensuring sub-regional stability, as demonstrated during the Gambian crisis.
The CAS described air logistics support as one of NAF’s core functions that would continue to make this possible. He added that it had become crystal clear that without air logistics support, it was virtually impossible to successfully prosecute modern warfare.
According to him, the NAF would continue to conduct realistic, practical and functional training exercises, like Exercise OMO OLOJA, to ensure it was fully prepared to provide necessary logistics support to meet national security imperatives as well as in support of humanitarian relief operations in aid to Civil Authority. The CAS ended by thanking the CDS for reviewing the SIMEX and providing guidance for its effective conduct.
Earlier, the Air Officer Commanding LC (AOC LC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Remigius Ekeh, stated that Exercise OMO OLOJA was aimed at practicing participants in the conduct of a medium scale airlift operation with a view to enhancing coordination between operations, logistics and aircraft engineering staff for the effective and efficient execution of air logistics operations. AVM Ekeh also disclosed that similar training exercises would be conducted by other NAF Commands in line with their core functions. He thanked the CAS for choosing LC as the vanguard of these series of training exercises across the Service.
The SIMEX also featured briefings from the Exercise Director and Heads of the various Cells who gave details of their various roles in facilitating the movement of a total of 400,000 lbs of relief materials using designated aircraft and ground transportation. Highlight of the event was the loading and airlift of some consignments of relief materials by the C-130H heavy airlift aircraft.