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Army acquires own surveillance helicopters

Authorities of the Nigerian Army yesterday took stock of its own two new helicopters with the aim of strengthening its counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in…

Authorities of the Nigerian Army yesterday took stock of its own two new helicopters with the aim of strengthening its counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in the different war theatres across the country.

Speaking at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja while receiving two newly acquired helicopters, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja said the acquisition of new aircraft would help the army to serve the country better.

Lagbaja also expressed hope that troops fighting terrorists and other criminal elements would overcome the adversaries threatening the peace of the country, saying that would then guarantee economic prosperity for the nation.

“The aircraft would give troops the flexibility needed on the battlefield. We are on a learning curve in the aviation business. We hope it will be a pleasant experience that will give our troops flexibility in the field and enhance our operational successes.

“The Nigerian Army is poised to serve the nation better with the acquisition of these platforms. We shall overcome and give our people the enabling environment for economic prosperity,” he stated.

The senior military officer disclosed that the army had nurtured the desire to have an aviation wing since 1984, while expressing delight that the dream has finally materialised with the acquisition of the two helicopters.

According to him, “Aviation has always been a game changer, and that informs the decision for the Nigerian army to strive to acquire platforms towards the actualization of the dream of having an army aviation arm since 1984.


“Today, that dream has been actualized. We expect that the support that will be provided to the troops in the field with the acquisition of this utility helicopter, in terms of casualty evacuation, and the supply and insertion of troops in critical areas, will have greater flexibility and improve operational efficiency in the field.”

The army chief revealed that the aircraft were ready for immediate deployment for logistics, surveillance and other tasks designed for it.

“If we have a mission tomorrow to pick one thing or the other to send logistics to any frontline location, they will be tasked accordingly. So, they are deployed already,” he said.

On his part, the Coordinator, Nigerian Army Aviation, M.S Alkali, a Brigadier-General, said the helicopters would strengthen the army’s reconnaissance, surveillance and air mobility capabilities.

He said, “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.”


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