The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has conducted counter terrorism simulation exercise along Kaduna-Birnin Gwari axis,North west of the country to expose personnel to full integration of air and ground operations.
The exercise, Code named NAZO, was overseeing by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olanisakin at Buruku, Chikun Local Government Area in Kaduna State on Monday.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) said training exercises of this nature for a fighting force like the NAF was imperative for greater success in combat operations.
He said the NAF has set the trail by ensuring that its personnel are engaged in exercises that evolve lessons, tactics and doctrine in the conduct of Counter Terrorism Operations.
The CDS said, as a service vested with the enviable role of protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria by air, the timing of the event was apt, “as it affords the NAF the opportunity to assess the physical and combat readiness of its personnel with a view to making some adjustments and changes where necessary.
“Even more important is the fact that an event of this nature is being organized at a time the Nigerian Air Force and its sister Services are engaged in Counter Insurgency Operations in the North Eastern part of Nigeria and banditry in the North West as well as North Central.
“In line with my vision for the Armed Forces of Nigeria which is to ensure a well motivated, trained and equipped armed forces that is responsive to national security commitments, the DHQ has facilitated conditions necessary for the Services to operate.
“This has helped in Services’
effectiveness towards curtailing the myriad of security challenges bedevilling the country presently.
“This resolve is hinged on one of the drivers of the key drivers of the CAS Vision. That is, Human Capacity Development through Robust and Result Oriented Training for Enhanced Professional Performance.”
Earlier, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar said the exercise, organized for the first time, was for both the ground and air elements to understand the usual challenges that are associated with air-ground integration in operations.
Abubakar said from now till January 2020, the NAF has put together a number of such exercises that will be conducted in different parts of the country.
“The whole idea is for us to be able to understand and provide answers to some very critical questions including the challenges and issues that are likely to interfere with the effective air-ground integration as well as the critical role that joint planning and execution has in successful conduct of operations.
“We want to also be able to answer the question such as, what roles that Force Protection in Complex Air Ground Environment elements is expected to play in order to ensure that our assets are fully protected, so that they can learn and conduct their mission safely.”
He noted that the K9 elements of the Air Provost also have a very crucial role to play.
Abubakar disclosed that the NAF Special Forces elements are currently involved in operations in the North East and North Central, while the Armed Forces Special Battalion had also been deployed to the North East.
On his part, the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command, NAF, AVM James Gwani said the operational exercise is being conducted by the Special Operations Command of the Nigerian Air Force.
Gwani said the Command is driven by deliberate efforts of the Chief of the Air Staff to continually boost the capacity of personnel through robust and result oriented training for enhanced professional performance.
He added, “Exercises in the military, play a very important role in rehearsing, testing, validating and upgrading the knowledge and skills of personnel.
“Accordingly, exercising forces is an essential part of operational training, which is critical in preparing forces to operate with the highest levels of professionalism across the entire spectrum of combat and non combat military operations.
Therefore, this exercise today was organized to test our operational doctrine and tactics for effective CT ops as well as to evaluate the synergy between air and surface forces in a complex air to ground operational environment.”
Gwani expressed the hope that the exercise would go a long way in further developing capacity, professionalism and combat readiness of personnel to battle forces of insecurity in the country. (