The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) today, 19 March 2019, commenced a two-day Base Defence Seminar at the Air Marshal Umar Blue Room, Headquarters NAF Abuja. The purpose of the Seminar is to bolster the protection of its assets to sustain the employment of air power in combating various security challenges in Nigeria. The Seminar, which has the theme “Enhancing Force Protection of NAF Bases for Effective Force Projection”, is the first of its kind to be held in the Service. Two papers were presented on the first day of the Seminar. The first paper was on the “Application of Intelligence for Enhanced Force Protection of NAF Bases”, while the second paper was titled “Base Defence – An Air Police Perspective”. A third paper on “NAF Base Concept” is expected to be presented on the final day of the Seminar.
In his remarks, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Emmanuel Anebi, stated that the Regiment Specialty, which is at the forefront of securing NAF Bases, has over the past few years, undergone far-reaching upgrade and repositioning in line with the current NAF Establishment. This, the CAS added, became necessary in order to better tackle the numerous security challenges currently prevalent in some parts of Nigeria. According to him, the reorganisation of the Regiment Specialty has been upheld through the establishment of new units and formations, strengthening of its manpower as well as kitting of personnel, amongst other recent achievements.
Air Marshal Abubakar added that the current organisation had seen the Regiment operate as a defensive arm through its Force Protection elements and an offensive arm through the Special Operations Force. This, he said, was done based on the fact that the best protection for any base remains at standoff distances, where the Special Operations Force elements confront and neutralize such threats away from the base, and outside the effective range of enemy fire. In addition, the CAS explained that the Service had established 4 Quick Response Groups and 2 Quick Response Wings, spread across the 6 geopolitical zones of the Country so as to bring security closer to Nigerians. According to him, the Service had to beef up the manpower disposition of NAF Regiment to meet the manning requirements of the ongoing transformation, which has seen an increase in the strength of Regiment personnel from about 1,300 to over 4,000. “Furthermore, our combat troops are being issued mission essential kits and equipment to enhance their capability in neutralizing envisaged threats. Some of the equipment include latest assault rifles such as the AK103 and Tavor as well as thermal imagers, night vision goggles and armoured fighting vehicles”, he added.
The CAS therefore charged the Commanders to ensure functional understanding of the Base Defence Concept with a view to implementing the Seminar’s resolutions at their various locations. He congratulated all personnel for making the NAF proud during the recently concluded rounds of elections, whilst also tasking Commanders to ensure that their officers and men continue to remain nonpartisan during subsequent elections.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP), AVM Oladayo Amao, affirmed that the 2019 NAF Base Defence Seminar, which is the first of its kind in the history of the Service, was a reflection of the progressive looking approach of the current NAF leadership. He explained that the development and operationalization of the Base Defence Concept was done to ensure that NAF Bases and assets were secure for the effective employment of air power. The concept, he said, emphasizes integrated detection and response by leveraging on trained manpower, intelligence and emplacement of appropriate technology. The CTOP added that the concept had been successfully implemented in frontline Bases like Maiduguri, Yola, Bauchi and Port Harcourt and would soon be implemented in all NAF Bases across the country.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force