Air chief hosts defence attaches, seeks enhanced cooperation

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By Sumaila Ogbaje

Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, has solicited enhanced defence cooperation with the respective militaries of all allied countries in Nigeria.

Abubakar made the call when he hosted foreign Defence Attachés of allied countries accredited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the gathering of the military diplomats had showcased the profession of arms as not only a guardian of territorial integrity, but also bridge builder across geopolitical and strategic boundaries.

The CAS said the increasingly fragile global security landscape had brought to the fore, the indispensable role that military forces played in ensuring peace and stability in the world.

He added that the event underscored the long-standing commitment of the countries to maintaining strong ties in the field of defence and security.

The event, according to him, offers him a unique opportunity to share his command philosophy with them and solicit their cooperation towards realising his vision for the Nigerian Air Force.

According to him, the NAF as an integral component of the Nigerian Armed Forces, has consistently played a pivotal role in regional stability in Africa, and the West African subregion in particular.

“The NAF’s role in tackling security challenges in concert with other security services, demands sustenance of a diverse range of credible air power capabilities.

“These capabilities are often products of innovations and advancements in technology developed beyond the shores of anyone country, hence the need for strong alliances orchestrated by Defence Attachés.

“As Defence Attachés representing the respective military services of your countries, you are charged with the task of developing and promoting the defence interests of your respective countries in Nigeria.

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“It is thus pragmatic to pursue those interests within the context of NAF’s aspirations.

“By so doing you would easily sustain a synergistic and symbiotic relationship with us,” he said.

Abubakar said his command philosophy was, “To transform the Nigerian Air Force into an agile and resilient force that effectively meets the airpower demands of national security in all operational environments.”

He enumerated five key enablers of his philosophy to include optimising force structure and establishment for enhanced operational effectiveness and deliberate training and mission-oriented force development.

The third key enabler, he said, was proactive logistics support and strong maintenance culture, while the fourth is prioritising research and development leveraging cutting-edge technology, strategic partnerships and lessons learnt.

The fifth according to him is maintaining a highly motivated force by enhancing welfare and infrastructural renewal.

The air chief said he considered Defence Attachés and Advisers as crucial players in translating his vision into reality by promoting collaboration, and mutual growth between the NAF and their respective militaries.

He said the NAF was ready to partner with friendly military forces on international defence and security and expressed willingness to extend similar assistance to allied partners in any identified area of NAF’s defence interest.

He thanked the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI) and his team for making the meeting possible, adding that it was an opportunity to strengthen relationship and deepen defence cooperation with all allied countries.

The defence attachés were led to NAF Headquarters by the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Undiandeye. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Salif Atojoko

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