Nigerian Air Force Is Close To My Heart – New United States Defence Attaché To Nigeria
The new United States Defence Attaché (DA) to Nigeria, Colonel Jason Nicholson has stated that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is close to his heart and that he would do the very possible best to further boost the relationship between his Government and that of Nigeria towards enhancing NAF operations. The new United States DA made the promise when he paid a courtesy visit on the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at the NAF Headquarters on 11 October 2017. In his response, the CAS expressed happiness with the current nature of interactions between the NAF and the United States Embassy in Nigeria. In particular, he acknowledged, with thanks, the support the NAF had been receiving in the area of training, amongst others, which had aided the NAF’s contributions to the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.
Air Marshal Abubakar reiterated his belief that no single nation could possibly fight terrorism alone and hence, the need to develop the right partnerships. He also said that, under President Buhari, substantial progress had been made in the fight against terrorism and that much more could still be achieved in that regard, especially with the availability of the right platforms and equipment. Accordingly, he said the NAF would continue to count on the support of the United States Government to facilitate the supply of the required aircraft spares, specialized equipment and aircraft, towards completely eradicating terrorism in Nigeria. The CAS also seized the opportunity to highlight some of the humanitarian intervention schemes of the NAF in North-eastern Nigeria and other parts of the country as part of the strategy towards winning the hearts and minds of the populace. The CAS then expressed the appreciation of the NAF to Project Cure, a non-governmental organization based in the United States, for identifying with the NAF’s humanitarian efforts in the Northeast.
It would be recalled that the NAF had since established Level 2 hospitals in the camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at Bama and Dalori, in addition to drilling of boreholes to ensure supply of potable water. Furthermore, the NAF has, in the past two years, conducted several medical outreach programmes during which IDPs received free treatment, free eyeglasses and free surgical interventions, including airlift to and from IDP camps, where necessary.
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