The Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has provided air support for ground forces to repel a Boko Haram Terrorist (BHT) attack at Gashigar. The operation was carried out over the night of 27 and early morning of 28 October 2018, following a report from troops at Gashigar that their location was under attack. Accordingly, a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform that was on a mission at another location was immediately redirected to Gashigar. In addition, a pair of Mi-35 helicopter gunships were scrambled to the location.
Overhead Gashigar, the NAF ISR platform was joined by another from the Nigerien Air Force and they both were able to identify the location of the BHTs, in 13 Gun Trucks, as they advanced towards the camp from 2 different directions. They subsequently directed the fire of the helicopter gunships and own ground troops support weapons towards the terrorists. The combined fire forced the BHTs to retreat from the camp. However, the BHTs attempted to regroup at a location outside the camp but were again engaged by the helicopter gunships and sent scampering in different directions, with several of them killed or injured in the process. The ISR platform and helicopters remained within the location providing necessary air support for the troops until the situation was stabilized and threats neutralized.
The NAF, working in concert with surface forces, will sustain the tempo of operations with a view to destroying all remnants of the terrorists on the fringes of Lake Chad and other areas in Northern Borno.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force