The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) earlier Wednesday, received 2 additional Diamond-62 (DA-62) aircraft at a brief but colourful ceremony held in Ilorin, Kwara State, in its bid to add impetus to the ongoing air operations.
In his remarks during the ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, noted that the process that culminated into the reception of the 2 additional aircraft began about 2 years ago when the Federal Government (FG) appropriated funds for the acquisition of 4 Diamond-62 aircraft for the NAF.
According to him, out of the 4 aircraft, the first 2 aircraft were delivered between February and July 2023, while the remaining 2 were being received today, Wednesday.
Speaking further, Air Marshal Abubakar noted that the 2 DA-62 aircraft received earlier in the year have since been deployed to the operating theatres in support of the ongoing efforts to restore peace and stability in troubled areas within the country.
While urging the air and ground crew that would handle the aircraft to eschew discipline and professionalism, Air Marshal Abubakar admonished them to also ensure the proper maintenance and operation of the aircraft in line with recommended best practices by the Original Equipment Manufacturer.
He also implored them to leverage the capabilities available on the aircraft to enhance NAF’s operational efficiency.
In paying glowing tribute to the FG for its commitment to revamping the fortunes of the NAF and other Services, Air Marshal Abubakar also noted that the receipt of the 2 additional DA-62 aircraft confirms the sincerity and commitment of the Government towards ensuring peace returns to hitherto troubled spots.
He went on to add that the NAF will in no distant time take delivery of additional platforms that include the M346FA aircraft, AW109 Trekker light attack helicopter, AH-1Z Super Cobra, T-129 ATAK helicopters and the King Air 360i Beechcraft aircraft.
In his remarks at the occasion, the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrazak Abdulrahman, commended the NAF for its efforts, alongside other security agencies towards ridding the nation of its numerous security challenges.
He also expressed his appreciation for the CAS for making Ilorin the homebase of the DA-62, which is indicative of the peaceful and conducive nature of the State.
He then assured the CAS of his administration’s unwavering support to the NAF and other security agencies in their onerous tasks of safeguarding lives and properties.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding Mobility Command, Air Vice Marshal Tajudeen Yusuf, noted that the acquisition of the DA-62 aircraft stems from its ability to carry out robust missions in furtherance of combat operations.
He then added that domiciling the DA-62 under 303 Medium Airlift Group in Ilorin will no doubt go a long way in breathing live into the unit while enhancing its operational activities.