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Friday, 23 June 2017

UK deploys 66 Air Force operatives in Nigeria


The British Government on Thursday said it had deployed its Royal Air Force to Nigeria.

 The deployment, according to a statement made available to our correspondent, was requested for by Nigeria’s Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

Abubakar stated that the request was necessary to forestall possible attacks on the country’s airbases.

The British government stated that a 66-person Short Term Training Team from “No 5 Royal Air Force (RAF) Force Protection Wing was deployed from RAF Lossiemouth to Nigeria for a six-week period to train the Nigerian Air Force Regiment.”

 The detachment, the third undertaken by 5 Force Protection Wing in a five-year programme, comes after a request from Abubakar to assist in capacity building for the NAF Regiment.

Abubakar said, “Given the importance of bases in the airpower delivery matrix, it is not inconceivable to expect our adversaries to target our airbases. As a matter of fact, we have had an attack on one of our airbases in the recent past, and current intelligence reports keep highlighting the possibility of attacks on our bases.

 “All these reinforce the need to emplace a robust base defence concept that is capable of providing guidance for responding to a wide range of situations that may threaten our bases.”

 Similarly, the Officer Commanding 5 Force Protection Wing, Commander John Rees, expressed the British government’s readiness to support Nigeria.

 “We are delighted to be here again and, as always, humbled by the warmth of the Nigerian welcome. We are proud of our Royal Air Force heritage and the opportunity to represent our service in the Defence Engagement arena,” Rees stated.

 The STTT is expected to deliver a training package which enables students to operate effectively in the Complex Air Ground Environment by understanding their role to provide security and Force Protection operations both inside and outside an air base.

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