What Nige­ria, Jor­dan ties mean for NAF

In­deed, more tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits are in the off­ing as NAF ex­pects to re­ceive four Su­per Puma heli­copters and two spare en­gines for tac­ti­cal air­lift of troops in the bat­tle against in­sur­gency and sim­i­lar op­er­a­tional ex­i­gen­cies

Weekly Trust - - Weekend - Ron­ald Mu­tum

The vista for in­ter­na­tional col­lab­o­ra­tion to de­feat in­sur­gency and pro­mote peace was en­hanced re­cently with the visit of the Com­man­der of the Royal Jor­da­nian Air Force, RJAF, Ma­jor Gen­eral Yousef Al-Hnaity, to Nige­ria. The Jor­da­nian air chief was the guest of Nige­ria’s Chief of Air Staff, Air Mar­shal Sadique Abubakar, on a week-long work­ing visit aimed at fur­ther ex­plor­ing ar­eas of pos­si­ble col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the RJAF and the Nige­rian Air Force, NAF.

Clearly, the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries presents a win-win sit­u­a­tion; the man­i­fes­ta­tion of Air Mar­shal Abubakar’s pol­icy thrust of pos­i­tive ad­vo­cacy, open­ness and in­ter­na­tional link­age in the fight against global ter­ror and pro­mo­tion of in­ter­na­tional har­mony.

Last Au­gust, Air Mar­shal Abubakar was in Jor­dan to ini­ti­ate the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the RJAF and the NAF. The visit by the CAS was fruit­ful, lead­ing to a prom­ise by Jor­dan to pro­vide nec­es­sary military as­sis­tance and train­ing to Nige­ria.

The com­ing of his Jor­da­nian coun­ter­part is there­fore a step to deepen the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the two coun­tries ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sim­i­lar se­cu­rity chal­lenges.

The visit is also ex­pected to fa­cil­i­tate the shar­ing of ex­pe­ri­ences that would pos­i­tively im­pact on the global ef­forts to deal with ter­ror­ism.

Specif­i­cally, Ma­jor Gen­eral Yousef Al-Hnaity iden­ti­fied co­op­er­at­ing with NAF in the area of ca­pac­ity build­ing for NAF pi­lots and air­craft en­gi­neers, who could train with their Jor­da­nian col­leagues.

Also on the cards is the train­ing of pi­lots, tech­ni­cians and en­gi­neers on air­craft spares in­ven­tory man­age­ment.

In­deed, more tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits are in the off­ing as NAF ex­pects to re­ceive four Su­per Puma heli­copters and two spare en­gines for tac­ti­cal air­lift of troops in the bat­tle against in­sur­gency and sim­i­lar op­er­a­tional ex­i­gen­cies.

Re­call that Jor­dan had of­fered 200 Ar­moured Ve­hi­cles to President Muham­madu Buhari when he met with the King of Jor­dan, Ab­dul­lah II in New York last month.

While in Nige­ria, the Jor­dan air chief also met with the Chief of De­fence Staff, Lt. Gen. Abay­omi Olonisakin and the CAS, in Abuja.

In ad­di­tion, he vis­ited NAF bases in Kaduna and La­gos and also in­ter­acted with NAF front­line pi­lots in Maiduguri and Yola.

Ear­lier, at the par­ley with Air Mar­shal Sadique and the Air Force hi­er­ar­chy at the NAF head­quar­ters, Abuja, Ma­jor Gen­eral Al-Hnaity pledged the readi­ness of the RJAF to col­lab­o­rate with the NAF in the fight against ter­ror­ism, mil­i­tancy and other forms of vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism.

He noted that the world is now fight­ing a new brand of war­fare that re­quires in­ter­na­tional col­lab­o­ra­tion.

Ac­com­pa­nied by a del­e­ga­tion of of­fi­cers from RJAF, Gen­eral Al-Hnaity said that “Air Power” was the way to go, if the coun­try must con­tain the war against ter­ror­ism.

He promised that RJAF would pro­vide the NAF with re­quired lo­gis­tics, air­craft spare parts as well as train­ing of pi­lots and en­gi­neers.

Air Mar­shal Abubakar said that the 21st Cen­tury con­flict was char­ac­terised by armed fight against non-state ac­tors. He also re­it­er­ated that no coun­try could solely de­feat ter­ror­ism, no mat­ter how pow­er­ful.

Re­cent NAF ad­vo­cacy vis­its to coun­tries like the United States, United King­dom, Rus­sia, Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Ara­bia and the King­dom of Jor­dan were aimed at build­ing strong part­ner­ships with friendly nations.

The CAS em­pha­sized the com­mit­ment of NAF to the bud­ding part­ner­ship with RJAF. Presently, three NAF pi­lots have been trained in Jor­dan and an­other set would soon de­part for train­ing.

He also in­di­cated the readi­ness of the NAF to as­sist the RJAF, es­pe­cially in the area of Re­search and De­vel­op­ment, where NAF has been record­ing ma­jor feats.

The Jor­dan military chief also vis­ited the re­cently estab­lished Air Force Com­pre­hen­sive Girls School Abuja, where he ex­pressed his sat­is­fac­tion with the stan­dard of teach­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

The in­ter­ven­tion in ed­u­ca­tion and health care are two ar­eas the NAF has pro­vided hu­man­i­tar­ian suc­cor to Nige­ri­ans, es­pe­cially In­ter­nally Dis­placed Per­sons, in sup­port of the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s pro­grammes to al­le­vi­ate their suf­fer­ings.

Af­ter vis­it­ing Yola and Maiduguri, Ma­jor Gen­eral Al-Hnaity, praised NAF’s op­er­a­tional pro­ce­dure, and the dy­namism of Air Mar­shal Abubakar in boost­ing the op­er­at­ing stan­dards of the NAF.

The vis­it­ing air chief wit­nessed, first­hand, the NAF op­er­a­tional pro­ce­dure, in­clud­ing brief­ing of pi­lots and the take off of one of the mis­sions in the on­go­ing Counter Ter­ror­ism and Counter In­sur­gency oper­a­tions in the North­east.

He com­mended the sys­tem for mis­sion plan­ning, air in­tel­li­gence ac­qui­si­tion, im­agery anal­y­sis as well as com­mand and con­trol, in­clud­ing the ded­i­ca­tion of NAF pi­lots and ground crew, which demon­strated the strong com­mit­ment of the NAF to fight ter­ror­ism and make the coun­try safe.

He also ap­pre­ci­ated the pro­vi­sion of mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties at the NAF Med­i­cal Cen­tre in Maiduguri, in­clud­ing the Can­cer Screen­ing Cen­tre, which en­abled NAF to pro­vide free med­i­cal care to IDPs and other lo­cals.

Air Mar­shal Abubakar ex­pressed op­ti­mism on the ben­e­fits of the visit es­pe­cially in the area of ca­pac­ity build­ing, shar­ing ex­pe­ri­ences in Re­search and De­vel­op­ment with the vis­it­ing Jor­da­nian team.

The Air Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing Tac­ti­cal Air Com­mand of the NAF, AVM Mo­hammed Idris, re­ceived the visi­tors in the North­east.

The Jor­dan Air Force Com­man­der and his del­e­ga­tion were in La­gos where they paid a cour­tesy call on the AOC Lo­gis­tics Com­mand, AVM Ibrahim Ya­haya.

The team also vis­ited the 631 Air­craft Main­te­nance De­pot and the 301 Heavy Air­lift Group, which main­tains and op­er­ates the NAF C-130H air­craft re­spec­tively, as well as the Ro­tary Wing, which op­er­ates and main­tains the NAF Su­per Puma he­li­copter.

In Kaduna, the team vis­ited some of the NAF’s train­ing in­sti­tu­tions. They un­der­took a visit to the Air Force Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre, where it they were briefed on some on­go­ing NAF re­search projects.

Ma­jor Gen­eral Al-Hnaity ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion with the depth of re­search work at the cen­tre. He re­it­er­ated that tech­nol­ogy was in­stru­men­tal to prose­cut­ing air war­fare in mod­ern times and praised NAF for tak­ing gi­ant strides to­wards tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment. He how­ever re­marked that the nation should be ready to in­vest suf­fi­ciently to con­sol­i­date on the steps al­ready set in mo­tion.

The visi­tors were ob­vi­ously im­pressed by the de­ter­mi­na­tion of the NAF lead­er­ship and per­son­nel to over­come all odds; es­pe­cially the pas­sion of the CAS for ca­pac­ity de­vel­op­ment, con­stant pro­fes­sion­al­ism of of­fi­cers and men and ef­forts to make NAF a dy­namic fire­power.

These feats, the CAS has re­peat­edly em­pha­sized, were made pos­si­ble largely by the pro­gres­sive poli­cies of the Buhari Ad­min­is­tra­tion and the sup­port of the Na­tional As­sem­bly.

The com­ing of the Jor­dan air chief on the heels of var­i­ous ad­vo­cacy and col­lab­o­ra­tion trips by the CAS is a man­i­fes­ta­tion of the bi­lat­eral ben­e­fits of NAF’s in­ter­na­tional col­lab­o­ra­tion to build the re­quired ca­pac­ity.

Such gains, in­clud­ing ro­bust train­ing, mod­ern in­fra­struc­ture, air­craft pro­cure­ment and re­ac­ti­va­tion are at­trib­ut­able to the sup­port of President Muham­madu Buhari to the armed forces, which the NAF has cred­itably uti­lized.

The NAF, now more than ever, has en­joyed the re­spect of many for­eign nations re­sult­ing in sev­eral col­lab­o­ra­tions.

In­deed, Ma­jor Gen­eral Yousef Al-Hnaity’s week­long visit no doubt sig­nals the deep­en­ing co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries and the con­cretiza­tion of the pro­posed Aqaba Process - a multi-lat­eral ap­proach where Nige­ria is ex­pected to lead in bring­ing to­gether coun­tries in the West Africa sub-re­gion un­der a col­lec­tive se­cu­rity pact with Jor­dan.

Chief of Air Staff, Air Mar­shall Sadique Abubakar and the Com­man­der, Royal Jor­da­nian Air Force, Ma­jor Gen­eral Yousef Al-Hnaity vis­it­ing the front­line of the war against in­sur­gency in Maiduguri

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