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NAF pledges regular air operations to end oil theft, insurgency



The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, has pledged increased air support to sister security agencies combating oil theft and insurgency across the country.

Abubakar gave this assurance on Monday at a luncheon with troops of air component of Operation Delta Safe (ODS) at the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) base in Port Harcourt, Rivers.

He said that President Bola Tinubu had mandated the military to adopt results-driven approach to addressing insecurity in the country.

“The Nigeria Air Force is resolute and determined to preserve the territorial integrity of a united Nigeria as well as prevent economic sabotage.

“It is heartwarming to note that the NAF has continued to execute its mandate through the conduct of operations to deter criminal elements from sabotaging our dear nation.

“Recently, the air force carried out series of air missions in support of surface forces for enhanced operational effectiveness.”

Abubakar, who was represented by the Commander of NAF’s 115 Special Operations Group, Commander Ali Idris, outlined various air operations, including air interdiction, armed reconnaissance and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Others are casualty/medical evacuation, tactical airlifts and logistics resupply, psychological operations and combat search and rescue missions, among others.

“The NAF, supported by sister services, has rejuvenated the multifaceted contributions of airpower in fighting the prevailing security challenges across the country.

“The impact of airpower employed in the theatre of operations has yielded positive results in decimating oil thieves and their capabilities.

“These air interdiction missions conducted in the past three months have significantly crippled criminal activities and disrupted their logistics hubs, denying them freedom in the Niger Delta,” he said.

The air chief commended Tinubu’s backing of security forces and assured the troop’s commitment to actualising their mandate.

Gov. Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers expressed gratitude to the military for its selfless sacrifice in protecting the state and the nation from both foreign and domestic threats.

He said that the country had recorded significant reduction in insecurity and attributed the improved security situation to the commitment of security personnel.

“The armed forces personnel understand the true meaning of sacrifice and have shown this by standing strong to defend Rivers state and the country at large.

“The success recorded in combating insecurity is not only a clear indication of ongoing efforts to defend Nigeria but a testimony that the mission of NAF is yielding positive results.

“Therefore, we owe it a duty to reflect and pray for our fallen heroes who paid the supreme price protecting the territorial integrity of our dear nation,” he said.

Fubara reiterated his government’s support for the air force operations against illegal bunkering and other unlawful activities in the state.

Desmond Ejibas

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