The Federal Government has granted approval for the acquisition of an initial fleet of twelve MD 530 F Cayuse attack helicopters to enable the operationalization of the Nigerian Army Aviation, enhancing its ability to address the prevailing security challenges afflicting the nation.
The procurement of the new assault helicopters is a crucial component of the government’s continuous initiatives to enhance the operational prowess of Army Aviation, ensuring a fitting response to evolving security challenges.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, disclosed this while declaring open the Nigerian Army Aviation maiden seminar on Aviation Security Awareness at the Army Headquarters Command Officers’ Mess, Abuja, yesterday.
During his address at the seminar titled “Strengthening Nigerian Army Aviation’s Capacity for Fulfilling Constitutional Duties in a Unified Setting,” the COAS conveyed appreciation to President Bola Tinubu’s administration for embracing the Nigerian Army Aviation’s vision and pledging to create history.
Lagbaja highlighted that the Nigerian Army Aviation demonstrated proactivity through the initiation of the inaugural seminar, aligning with his leadership philosophy of transforming the Nigerian Army into a Proficient, Well-equipped, and Vigorously Driven Force to fulfill Constitutional Duties within a Joint Framework.
He said the seminar would serve as a platform to discuss critical issues and share invaluable insights regarding the future of Nigerian Army Aviation
Lagbaja further revealed that since 2014, the Army had made commendable progress in training pilots, aircraft engineers, technicians, and other ground support crews, adding that it understood the highly technical nature of the aviation business and the need to be appropriately mentored.
He noted that was the reason for its international collaborations and submission of its nascent aviation outfit to the mentoring of the Nigerian Air Force, as the service does not have the luxury of making mistakes when it could learn from other experienced aviation outfits.
While underscoring the importance of Nigerian Army aviation, the Army chief affirmed that the establishment of this unit aimed to enhance the agility, responsiveness, and effectiveness of ground forces while bolstering the overall operational success of joint and coalition forces.
“It will also support those on the ground and focus on tactical and operational engagements. The Air Force undertakes more complex tasks to achieve strategic effects.Experiences of some member nations of the international community are instructive and depict effectiveness in countering contemporary security threats through vital support to ground forces.
“Ideas gleaned from the seminar will help strengthen NA aviation capabilities through capacity building, infrastructure development and guide further acquisition of cutting-edge platforms for the growth and development of a viable Nigerian Army Aviation,’’ General Lagbaja said.
At the outset of his comments, the Acting Coordinator of Nigerian Army Aviation, Brigadier General Musa Alkali, acknowledged the crucial significance of aviation in strengthening ground operations and addressing the ever-evolving security challenges facing the nation.
He noted that the re-establishment of the Nigerian Army aviation in 2014, was a decisive step towards enhancing its operational reach and effectiveness in countering threats to national security.
‘’The seminar marks a significant milestone in the continuous efforts to operationalize the NA aviation. Collective knowledge and expertise at the seminar will generate constructive dialogue that will guide the Army towards actualization of a more robust and capable NA aviation,’’ he said.