Terrorism: NAF brainstorms on securing air bases

Martha Ebere Obi

The Nigerian Air Force  (NAF) has held a retreat on Base Defence Planning following terrorists’ threats to its facilities in the North east.

The Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya said, at the Ibrahim Alfa Auditorium in the Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna that the retreat was premised on the deployment of special light infantry, capable of operating both inside and outside the base perimeter against contemporary threats.

Consequently, participants at the retreat included base commanders, regiment officers, intelligence officers, air provost officer, all of who have specific roles to play in securing and defending NAF bases.

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the retreat, reminded participants that despite its potency, airpower still has limitations, one of which is the issue of security of bases.

According to him: “Given the importance of bases in the airpower delivery matrix, it is not inconceivable to expect our adversaries to target our bases. As a matter of fact, we have had an attack on one of our airbases in the recent past, and current intelligence reports keep highlighting the possibility of attacks on our bases. All these reinforce the need to emplace a robust base defence concept that is capable of providing guidance for responding to a wide range of situations that may threaten our bases.”

The former base defence concept in the NAF was the emplacement of static guards at identified key and vulnerable points.

The current NAF leadership, however, viewed the concept as being no longer tenable and thus introduced the more robust base defence concept into the Service in 2016.

Nevertheless, recent evaluations of the Bases revealed that many commanders and bases were yet to imbibe and adopt the tenets of the new base defence concept. The retreat  afforded participants the opportunity to rub minds and exchange ideas and experiences towards engendering effective implementation of the new concept across the NAF.

With the conclusion of the retreat, NAF bases are expected to be safer, more secured and more capable of repelling any attack directed at them.

In a related development, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has commissioned the newly built Regiment Training Centre as well as an electronic shooting range, both in Kaduna .

The Regiment Training Centre and the electronic range was named after late Air Commodore Anthony Ikhazoboh and late Group Captain Williams Pratt respectively.

Both retired senior officers, now dead, contributed significantly to NAF base defence, while in service and it was considered most befitting way to honour them.

The Regiment Training Centre, which has the capacity to accommodate 300 trainees at a go, and the Electronic Range were constructed to further develop the capacity of personnel for base defence.