Nigerian Army Receives First Batch of Combat Aircraft to Bolster Operations Against Terrorists, Bandits

Nigerian army receives first batch of combat aircraft

The Nigerian Army has received its first batch of new combat aircraft, a significant enhancement to its operational capabilities.

Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director of Army Public Relations, announced this development in a statement issued in Abuja. The arrival of these aircraft marks a crucial step in advancing the Nigerian Army’s aviation capacity to support ground operations.

The newly received BELL UH-1H (HUEY) helicopters were formally welcomed by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, in a brief ceremony held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Thursday.

General Lagbaja highlighted that the initiative to establish an Army Aviation wing was first conceived in 2014 by then COAS, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah (retired), as part of a three-phase ten-year implementation plan.

He commended former Chiefs of Army Staff for their dedication and the collective efforts of personnel, alongside the Nigerian Government’s political will, in realizing this vision.

Expressing gratitude, General Lagbaja acknowledged the support of various successive administrations in training pilots and ground crews and setting up necessary structures.

He also thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his commitment to funding the acquisition of the aircraft and providing support to actualize this goal.

Equipped with advanced sensors, the BELL UH-1H helicopters are designed for a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, rescue, logistics, transportation, and medical evacuation.

Brigadier General Musa Alkali, Coordinator of Nigerian Army Aviation, described the arrival of these platforms as a significant milestone in enhancing the operational capabilities of the Nigerian Army Aviation.

He emphasized that this acquisition reflects the Army’s ongoing commitment to improving and adapting to the evolving security landscape over the past 40 years.

Major General Emeka Onwuamaegbu (retired), a consultant for the Nigerian Army Aviation and a trained helicopter pilot, praised the sustained vision of the Nigerian Army, which has culminated in the establishment of its aviation wing.

The Nigerian Army’s new aircraft are expected to significantly boost its reconnaissance, surveillance, and air mobility capabilities, enhancing its ability to provide an enabling environment for economic prosperity in Nigeria.

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