NAF partners firm for local reactivation of aircraft
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has announced a local reactivation of its aircraft in partnership with indigenous firms.
Abubakar made the disclosure during his two-day operational visit to the NAF’s 115 Special Operations Group (SOG) in Port Harcourt, where he inspected two helicopters under reactivation.
A statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, said foreign technical experts would also be involved when necessary.
Apart from helping the country to save a huge maintenance cost in foreign exchange, the arrangement would also make its technicians to gain expertise.
He expressed satisfaction with the progress of work on the reactivation, adding that when completed, it would boost the operational efficiency of the air force.
The helicopters, which were reactivated by the technicians at Aero Contractors’ facility in Port Harcourt, were one Dauphin helicopter and Mi-35P Helicopter.
The CAS’s team also witnessed a ground instruction class where an experienced civilian pilot from Aero Contractors taught young NAF pilots.
He commended Aero Contractor for making its services available at no cost and urged similar organisations to support the air force.
The CAS visited the operational wing of 115 SOG, where he was briefed on the unit’s contributions to the fight against insurgency in the northeast.
Other projects he inspected are the Base Defence Coordination Centre, from where the unit’s air assets would be coordinated and the medical centre, which is being modified to accommodate X-ray and dialysis equipment.
Meanwhile, the NAF has commenced a surgical intervention scheme in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps at Bama, Dalori and Banki in Borno State.
The scheme covers general surgeries, obstetrics and gynaecology, as well as ophthalmology.
Abubakar said it was designed to make the NAF to win the “hearts and minds” of the displaced persons.
According to the Chief of Medical Services, Air Vice Marshal Saleh Shinkafi, the intervention was part of its humanitarian service to enable the displaced persons to return to productive living condition.