Terrorism: Army Takes Delivery of Two New Helicopters, to Activate Aviation Wing

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Terrorism: Army Takes Delivery of Two New Helicopters, to Activate Aviation Wing

 

CHIGOZIE AMADI

The Nigerian Army (NA), yesterday, took delivery of two new helicopters, as part of the service determined effort to activate its aviation wing to strengthen the ongoing fight against Insurgency and terrorism.

A Former Commander Infantry Corps of the Nigerian Army, Major Gen Victor Ezugwu (Rtd), in May 2024, said the war against terrorism would end if the planned establishment of Army Aviation succeeded and night fighting capabilities of the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps were improved.

Against this backdrop, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, in brief ceremony received the two helicopters Bell UH1-H, which, arrived Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, NAF Wing at about 4:40pm.
The two new platforms were expected to operationalise the NA aviation to support  troops in training, casualty evacuation and reconnaissance, thereby boosting response time.

In his remarks, Lagbaja expressed delight that the NA Aviation conceptualised 10 years ago, has finally come to life with the delivery of the first two helicopters.
“The journey, as predicted by those that conceptualised the idea, has not been easy, but here we are today by the grace of God, realising our dream.

“I must sincerely appreciate the various administrations that have been in government since 2014, from His Excellency Goodluck Jonathan to His Excellency Mohammadu Buhari, for their support in training our pilots and ground crews and putting in place necessary structures over these years.
“I must especially thank the President, C-in-C of the Armed Forces of Nigeria His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for fulfilling his promise to fund the acquisition of our platforms and providing the necessary funding to realise our dream.”

He said the service was new to the aviation business, hence, “we must acknowledge our forerunners like the NAF, NN, and the NPF.”

He also thanked the sister services for the encouragement and support they have received from them, since 2014.

“We are on our learning curve in the aviation business, and we hope it will be a pleasant experience that will enhance our operational successes,” he further said.

The COAS, noted that the NA was poised to serve the nation better, stressing that, “We shall overcome and give our people the enabling environment for economic prosperity.”

The Coordinator, Nigerian Army Aviation, Brig-Gen Musa Alkali, said the introduction of the advanced air platforms marked a new chapter in NA’s operational readiness and its ability to respond swiftly and effectively to diverse security challenges.

“These platforms are not just an addition to our fleet but a leap forward in our quest for excellence and efficiency towards getting NA Aviation operational,” he said.

Alkali said the NA’s journey to activate the aviation wing has been defined by rigorous planning, meticulous execution, and the unwavering support of the NA leadership and partners.

“I would like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of all those involved in this project, from our well respected Consultant Maj Gen Emeka O. rtd, and strategic planners as well as international partners. Your hard work and dedication have been instrumental in making this vision a reality.

“The acquisition of these air platforms is a clear demonstration of our resolve to continuously improve and adapt in the face of evolving security landscapes. These platforms will significantly bolster the NA’s reconnaissance, surveillance, and air mobility capabilities, thereby enhancing our overall operational effectiveness.

“As we integrate these platforms into our operations, let us also remember that the true strength of our aviation lies in the skilled and courageous personnel who operate and maintain these machines. Their professionalism, dedication, and expertise are the bedrock upon which our success is built.”

He expressed confident that with the continuous training and development of NA personnel, the service would maximize the potential of these new assets and set new standards of excellence in military aviation.