The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, has charged troops of Operation Whirl Punch and Operation Bada Mamaki to eliminate all criminal elements and restore peace in the country.
Amao gave the charge at the CAS Christmas Lunch with Air Component frontline troops of Operation Whirl Punch and Operation Bada Mamaki, held at the NAF 401 Flying Training School on Sunday in Kaduna.
Frontline troops of Operations Bada Mamaki and Whirl Punch are engaged in fighting banditry in Kaduna, Niger, Kogi and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The CAS was represented by Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command, AVM Nnamdi Ananaba.
Amao said: “We must sustain the tempo of our operations and continue to fight gallantly until all insurgents, bandits and all other criminal elements are completely eliminated, and peace is restored to all troubled parts of our dear country
“We must continue to operate synergistically with our sister services and other security agencies whilst leveraging each other’s capabilities to secure the nation. This is our professional duty.”
Amao said that the Christmas launch was an opportunity to not only bond with the frontline troops but also promote comradeship within the service.
“It affords us the opportunity to spend time with you, knowing that you should ordinarily be spending this period with your loved ones, but have sacrificed the time to remain in the theatre to ensure that our country remains secure.
“The security threats currently facing our dear nation and the challenges they present to the attainment of our national developmental goals require the emplacement of a robust security architecture, which of course will include the ability to rapidly employ airpower within the full spectrum of warfare.
“The paradigm shift in the way air warfare is waged, necessitates a highly versatile air force capable of executing a wide range of airpower roles across multiple theatres of operation to deal with these security threats,” he said.
The CAS said he was glad that NAF, operating in synergy with sister services and other security agencies, has continued to courageously confront the threats, while recording tangible results in the various theatres.
“I must say that I am proud of the efforts of all our officers, airmen and airwomen participating in internal security operations in different parts of the country.
“My pride comes from the positive reports that are getting to my desk of your courageous exploits and successes,” he told the troops.
Amao said in the North Central theatre particularly, the NAF through the air component Operation Whirl Punch, has continued to perform very critical roles in providing the much-needed air support for the smooth conduct of ground operations by the Land Component.
According to him, the air support has been immensely instrumental in curtailing activities of terrorists and other enemies of the state, denying them freedom of action and providing respite for Nigerians who have been on the receiving end of the excesses of these criminals.
He commended all personnel of the operation for their commitment and contributions towards ensuring that peace and stability is restored to all parts of the North Central.
”Please do not relent in your dedication and hard work towards ensuring that peace returns to our land.
“I assure you that your efforts and sacrifices in this regard, both individually and collectively, are highly appreciated by the nation.
“Let me also re-assure you that, on our part, Headquarters Nigerian Air Force, will continue to ensure the provision of your requirements for the successful execution of the war,” Amao said.
The Air Chief appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari, for his continued support to the Armed Forces of Nigeria, in general, and the NAF in particular, towards the achievement of its desired airpower goals.
In his speech, the Guest of Honour and General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, commended the leadership of NAF for placing high premium in boosting the morale of those at the frontline.
Lagbaja said the lunch would boost the strength and agility of personnel of the NAF in the optimal performance of their assigned tasks.
“It is imperative to use this occasion to extend sincere appreciation to personnel of the NAF for assiduously working in synergy with other security and law enforcement agencies in securing the entire areas of operation.
He said the resilience and patriotism of members of the Nigerian Air Force in response to contemporary security challenges is quite commendable.
“The enduring harmonious relationship between the Nigerian Army and the NAF and indeed the Armed Forces of Nigeria have been a force multiplier in our collective drive to return our state to its initial Center of Learning and the peace it is known for.
“We look forward to a more robust and fruitful engagements between all the security agencies and the leadership of the NAF here in Kaduna.
“I will like to assure you all of our constant support and partnership towards improving the security disposition in the state,” Lagbaja said.