By Sadiq Umar – The Nigerian Air Force has deployed fighter jets to the Niger Delta as part of measures to step up security in the region amid increasing spate of attacks on oil and gas installations by militant groups.
NAF also is adopting a new concept of base defence to protect its air assets and critical installations because of the emerging security threat in the region..
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin made this known while speaking during the commissioning ceremony and induction of the Honker vehicles.
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) indicated Friday that aside “reorganizing, retraining and re-equipping the Regiment Specialty to effectively defend NAF Bases against attacks, the Service has also employed the use of Closed Circuit Camera to provide surveillance around perimeter fences of NAF Bases while monitoring the entire Base from the Base Defence Coordination Centre”.
The vehicles CDS affirmed would enhance the capability of NAF Regiment personnel to effectively contribute to the collective efforts at addressing the security challenges facing the nation, adding that “the procurement was a testimony of the importance the NAF attached to the protection of its critical assets and personnel”.
Under the new concept, NAF indicated that effort has been geared towards expanding the Regiment Specialty so as to take over all ground defence duties with a view to securing NAF Bases and critical assets.
Defence confirmed that the recent acquisition of 10 specialized Honker Scorpion Vehicles was in furtherance of the objective, by providing guards with the capacity to respond quickly to security breaches. It added “the vehicles possess armoured capability thus offering additional level of protection to guards”.
Also speaking at the event, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar reiterated that the nation, NAF in particular, could not afford to lose its critical assets to the activities of insurgents, terrorists and militants. He stressed NAF was committed to adopt all necessary security measures to forestall occurrence of past mistakes.
The deployment of the Honker vehicles CAS reinforced was intended to significantly enhance the NAF Base Defence System as well as security of key and vulnerable points around the nation including the airports.
“Another major advantage of the Honker vehicles is that it helps to eliminate the system hitherto in place where guards were made stationary at their guard posts” Abubakar stated.