From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has promised to assist the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), to develop its airpower capability.
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, who made this known, said stated that the NAF would provide the necessary technical and engineering support to ensure the activation of the AFL Air Wing.
Amao gave the assurance when he received the Chief of Staff (CoS), AFL Major General Prince Charles Johnson III, in his office at the NAF Headquarters, Abuja. Represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP), Air Vice Marshal Charles Ohwo, the CAS, while noting that the NAF was responsible for the training of the only two existing pilots in the AFL, promised to train more pilots to ensure the smooth operationalization of its Air Wing.
While calling on the AFL to take advantage of NAF’s technical and engineering schools for non-pilot courses such as the Air Traffic Control and Ground Support Crew, Amao, said the NAF would support the AFL in providing airlift capability for AFL contingent to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) in Mali once the request is made.
“Whenever you have pilots for further training be rest assured that our training schools are open for them to become full-fledged pilots under the Nigerian Air Force Pilots Training Programme.”
Earlier in his remarks, Major General Prince Charles Johnson III, said he was in Nigeria to further strengthen the bilateral ties between the AFL and Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) and to appreciate the AFN for its support to Liberia over the years especially during the civil war.
He said currently, the country’s strategic military objective was to establish an Air Wing or Air Reconnaissance Unit for the AFL as prescribed by Liberia’s National Defence Act, which is yet to be actualized.
He solicited NAF’s technical assistance to facilitate the establishment of its Air Wing, considering NAF’s expertise in airpower, just as he noted that Nigeria’s military assistance to Liberia was numerous and could not be over emphasized especially in the training of her pilots.