The move is part of efforts to combat insecurity in the country

Air Marshal Mohammed Umar

The Nigerian Air Force is set to commence air patrol of Nigerian borders for effective policing of the areas, the Chief of Air Staff , Air Marshal Mohammed Umar, has said.

Opening a two-day retreat for Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Commanders and Directors in Abuja on Wednesday, Umar said the patrol was part of efforts to tackle the growing insecurity in the country.

He said the Federal Government had directed the service to start preparation for the patrol, because of the prevailing security challenges.

?The task of air border patrol is currently being handled by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) through its air patrol division. Following government assessment of the operations of the air border patrol operations, it felt that the Air Force would be more capable to handle this,? he said.

?That is why the NAF was asked to begin to prepare to commence air border patrol.?  

Umar said that the government had not transferred the assets of air border patrol to the NAF, but the Air Force was gearing up for the job ahead of the official handing over of the responsibility.

?We are absolutely ready to carry out any task the nation wants us to take. All we require now is the directive. Once we get the directive, we will commence operations with whatever resources we have, and we will be informing the government from time to time on what is  required to do the job better,?? he added.

He told the commanders and directors that the duties of air border patrol, ?including the Air Force involvement in internal security operations across the country, necessitate thorough planning and coordination of operation and logistics.?

?We have to work assiduously in order not to leave anything to chance. We will look at the way we are operating and how we can improve our operational capabilities and readiness.???

Air Vice-Marshal Ishaq Umar, the NAF Chief of Training and Operations, said the training was aimed at correcting some flaws noticed in the course of carrying out operational responsibilities by Air Force commanders and directors.

The flaws, Umar said, included failure to exercise disciplinary powers, not knowing what to do in the event of accident, poor crew selection and ignorance of procedure.

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