The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Taoreed said President Bola Tinubu, has approved payment for the initial 12 attack helicopters that will see to the operationalisation of the Nigerian Army Aviation.
He stated this while declaring open the Maiden Nigerian Army Aviation Seminar held from the 25th to 28th of September 2023 at the Command Officer’s Mess, Abuja.
He appreciated the President for buying into the aspiration of the Nigerian Army and committing himself to making history by bringing it to pass while applauding the leadership of the Nigerian Army Aviation for being adaptive and proactive in this regard.
According to General Lagbaja, the Nigerian Army Aviation is “set up to improve ground troops’ agility, responsiveness, and efficacy while contributing to the overall operational success of joint and coalition troops”.
He pointed out that the “Army Aviation supports those on the ground and focuses on tactical and operational engagements while the Air Force undertakes big tasks to achieve strategic effects”.
The Army Chief revealed that the Nigerian Army has made commendable progress in training pilots, aircraft engineers, technicians, and other ground support crew as it understands the highly technical nature of the aviation business and the need to be appropriately mentored.
“Aside from our international collaborations, the Nigerian Army has submitted its nascent aviation outfit to the mentoring of the Nigerian Air Force, as the Service does not have the luxury of making mistakes when it can learn from the ones made by an experienced forerunner in the field” stated General Lagbaja.
It would be recalled that the dream of the aviation arm for the Nigerian Army started with the re-establishment of the Nigerian Army Aviation Coordination Office in December 2014.
Present at the occasion was the former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen LEO Irabor (rtd), who is the first Coordinator of the Nigerian Army Aviation Establishment, Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Hon Abdullahi Idris Garba, heads and representatives of sister Services and other security agencies, and retired officers of the military.