The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Thursday commenced a 2-day Special Operations Seminar with the theme “Employment of Nigerian Air Force Specialized Operations in Curbing Contemporary Security Challenges”.
The Seminar, which began today in Bauchi, home of Headquarters Special Operations Command (HQ SOC), is the maiden edition since the establishment of the Command in 2016.
It was organized for operational commanders and other stakeholders to brainstorm while drawing important lessons from battlefield experiences.
The Seminar is also intended to improve and consolidate on how special operations could be better conducted to ensure the highest level of operational effectiveness and efficiency.
While declaring the Seminar open, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar, represented by the Speaker Bauchi State House of Assembly, Hon Kawuwa Shehu Damina, commended the idea behind the Seminar.
He pointed out that with the on-going counterinsurgency operations in the North East and other forms of Internal Security challenges, “there is no more auspicious time than now for stakeholders to rub minds on key issues regarding special operations as a critical component to the success of any military operation”.
Speaking further, the Governor commended the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for recognizing the significance of special operations in counterinsurgency war by devoting resources to the building of the NAF’s capacity for special warfare.
Governor Abubakar thereafter commended the NAF for the sustained air operations that paved the way for the surface forces to rescue additional hostages, mostly women and children, from the insurgents.
In his address, the CAS, represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Muhammadu Muhammed, disclosed that the NAF cannot afford to be left behind in building capabilities necessary to fight insurgency and other crimes that threaten the peace and security of the nation.
According to him ‘the employment of the NAF’s Special Forces in synergy with its air operation and other sister Services would further provide our political leaders a wider gamut of military options to effectively and efficiently contain current and emerging security challenges’.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding, Special Operations Command, AVM Sadique Kaita said that there was need for both strategic and tactical Commanders to be in tune with the concept of special operations.
He added that the Seminar would further help to facilitate the employment of specialized forces to subdue or neutralize the nation’s security threats.
Day One of the Seminar witnessed the presentation of two papers, with the first titled ‘The Application of Air Power in Irregular warfare: An appraisal of NAF Special Operations in the North East Counter Insurgency Operation’, presented by AVM Abdullahi Iya (Retired).
The second paper was delivered by Mr. Yochanan Alon and centered on ‘Combat and Rescue Operations: Challenges and Prospects for the Nigerian Air Force’.
Both presentations were followed by interactive sessions during which stakeholders were able to engage in fruitful discussions on the way forward.
In a related development, the CAS, represented by the COPP, had earlier paid a courtesy visit to the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu to formally notify him on the hosting of the Special Operations Seminar in Bauchi.
While extolling the monarch for his fatherly support to the NAF, the CAS disclosed that the SOC remains a strategic Command in the NAF as part of the arrowhead to address the current security threats in the nation.
In his response, the Royal Father welcomed the participants to Bauchi, offered his royal blessings and wished the NAF fruitful deliberations.
The Seminar is expected to end on Friday, 15 December 2017, with far reaching resolutions.