The United States Department of Defence (US DOD) has assured the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) of its readiness to channel all efforts towards on-schedule delivery of the 12 units of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, which were recently paid for by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).
This assurance was given on 3 December by the Director of the United States Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation (AFSAC) Directorate, Brigadier General Sean Farrell, during a meeting between representatives of the US DOD and the NAF, held at the Headquarters NAF in Abuja.
The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibukunle Daramola disclosed in a statement on Saturday.
Daramola stated that General Farrell, who is one of the senior officers from US DOD overseeing the ongoing process of the procurement of the A-29 Supper Tucano aircraft, mentioned that he and members of his team were in Nigeria to discuss the delivery schedule of the aircraft as well as the construction effort at NAF Base where the aircraft would be stationed.
“He expressed the readiness of his team to complete the execution of the contract in record time while noting that the visit to the Base would provide the team with firsthand knowledge of the construction site as well as help avoid delays in schedule and risks in the future.
“He added that the AFSAC is committed to assisting the NAF to deliver air power capability expeditiously in order to add value to what the Service is already doing in the Counter Insurgency (COIN) operations in the the Northeastern part of Nigeria.
According too the statement, The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar while applauding the US Government for the support it has rendered to the NAF over the years, reiterated that the Boko Haram menace was not a local problem but a global one.
“This, he noted, underscored the need for international collaboration and cooperation to adequately and decisively deal with the threat.
“Speaking further, Air Marshal Abubakar noted that the defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq has had the unfortunate effect of exacerbating the problem in Nigeria with transfer of fighters and equipment into and around the West African Sub-Region, thereby emboldening the terrorist group who now have more sophisticated weapons and equipment.
“He stressed that the induction of the A-29 would, greatly enhance NAF’s capability to more effectively prosecute the war against insurgency in the Northeast.
“He therefore urged the AFSAC team to do all within its power to ensure that at least 2 of the aircraft are delivered to Nigeria even before the new delivery date of 2021.” Daramola stated