The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it has begun an in-house reactivation of its Mi-35P and EC-135 combat helicopters in Port Harcourt.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, made the announcement in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
The reactivation NAF said, was in furtherance of its commitment to ensure availability of more serviceable platforms for the prosecution of the ongoing war against insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country.
He said the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, during an operational visit to 115 Special Operations Group (115 SOG) Port Harcourt, inspected the ongoing in-house reactivation works on the Mi-35P and EC-135 helicopters.
“Upon completion in the first quarter of 2019, the reactivated aircraft will be available for deployment to enhance NAF operational efficiency in the discharge of its constitutional roles.’’
Daramola explained that the operational visit to 115 SOG was one of series of visits by Abubakar to NAF units across the country.
He further said the visit was to assess NAF’s operational readiness in tackling emerging security challenges as well as progress of work on the reactivation of various platforms.
He said the air chief during the inspection was conducted round the completed Base Defence Coordination Centre (BDCC), by the Commander 115 SOG, Air Commodore Elijah Ebiowe.
Daramola said the CAS also inaugurated a new block of 18 single-bedroom Corporals and Below Quarters.
He said the BDCC, was equipped with communications and surveillance equipment to boost the operational capacity of the Unit in the area of intelligence gathering and real time coordination of the Base Defence Plan.
He said the BDCC would also help in timely response to security exigencies within the Unit’s Area of Responsibility (AOR).
He quoted the CAS as saying that the current NAF administration places high premium on the welfare needs of personnel, as evidenced by the various projects embarked upon across NAF units to meet accommodation and other welfare needs.
Abubakar thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, for providing the enabling environment for the Service to function effectively and efficiently.
The CAS was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP) NAF Headquarters, AVM Muhammodu Muhammed.
Earlier, AVM Oladayo Amao, The Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Tactical Air Command (TAC), thanked the CAS for providing the human and material resources to accomplish numerous projects in NAF Base Port Harcourt.
According to him, the CAS’ footprints were clearly visible throughout the entire TAC with the completion of several other projects, in addition to ongoing ones.