President Bola Tinubu has inducted two newly acquired T-129 ATAK Helicopters and a King Air 360ER Beechcraft into the Order of Battle (ORBAT) of the Nigeriagn Air Force (NAF).
This is contained in a statement by the Director, Public Relations and Information, NAF, AVM Edward Gabkwet, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Tinubu, who was represented at NAF Base, Makurdi, by Vice President Kashim Shettima, said the acquisition and induction of the platforms remained a symbol of his commitment to investment in national security.
He expressed confidence that the deployment of the new platforms would significantly enhance NAF’s combat efficiency in addressing contemporary security challenges, both domestically and within the West African region.
The President called for discipline in operations and the establishment of a robust maintenance culture to maximise the benefits derived therein.
He commended the NAF for standing as a dependable regional power and emphasised his administration’s dedication to supporting it.
Tinubu said it was also a reflection of his commitment to eradicating terrorism, insurgency, kidnapping, and other criminal activities that had plagued the country for years.
According to him, though substantial progress has been achieved in ongoing counterterrorism efforts, there should be no cause for celebration until the security challenges are fully addressed.
He called for a change in mind set, strategy and tactics in addressing the menace.
In his remarks, the Minister of Defence, Alhaji Muhammed Badaru, acknowledged the sincerity of purpose of President Tinubu toward restoring peace in every part of Nigeria.
Badaru thanked the President for his foresight, resilient leadership, and unwavering support to the Armed Forces of Nigeria, in spite of the numerous challenges confronting the nation.
He urged NAF to adhere to maintenance schedules and implementation of robust safety practices to ensure the sustained serviceability status of the aircrafts so as to derive maximum benefit for the nation.
The minister also urged NAF personnel to align their individual and collective actions with the vision of the President, emphasising the pursuit of peace, stability, and rapid development objectives.
Earlier, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, said the induction was a testimony of government’s unwavering resolve to equip and energise the NAF toward combating terrorism and other threats.
Abubakar said the NAF had since inception of Tinubu’s administration, inducted five new aircrafts into its fleet, including two Diamond 62 surveillance aircraft, two T-129 ATAK helicopters, and a King Air 360 ER.
He said there was plan for the NAF to induct 46 new aircraft of various types over the next 18 months.
The CAS assured Nigerians that the NAF would not rest until it brought the war to a favourable end, to ensure the peace and stability that Nigerians deserved.
He urged all Nigerians to keep the faith and hope in the advancement and prosperity of the nation.
The ceremony witnessed the presence of other distinguished dignitaries, including Gov. Hyacinth Alia of Benue, Minister of Information and Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, and the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Hidayet Bayraktar.
Also in attendance were members of the National Assembly and several serving and retired senior military officers.