Sadique Abubakar, The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), has said that the British Military Assistant Team (BMAT) is expected to train 300 regiment personnel in order to have reliable and highly skilled personnel that can protect all NAF bases in Nigeria, add value to security at airports and to assist in states where there are security challenges.
The CAS who was in Kaduna to commission some completed projects at the NAF base including a control tower and electronic range said the Service is restrategising to ensure that bases in the country are never attacked again.
While recalling that there was an attack sometime in December 2013 on the NAF base in Maiduguri, Borno State by members of Boko Haram, the CAS however assured that to achieve that, efforts have been put in place to avoid a repeat of destruction of air asset.
He said, “The British Military Assistant Team (BMAT) who are expected in the country to train 300 regiment personnel in order to have reliable and highly skilled personnel that can protect all NAF bases in Nigeria, add value to security at airports and to assist in states where there are security challenges.”
Commenting on the outcome of an earlier meeting with branch chiefs, AOCs, Commanders and Commandants, he said the meeting is essentially to review activities in the last quarter and to also see what progress they are making in terms of realizing what was set to achieve in the second quarter.
He said, “We have identified a few gaps which we are working hard to ensure we close those gaps and transform them into something positive for our country.
“The facilities we just commissioned suppose to be for training of base defense force or critical assets protection force. You know you can have air planes, if the base is not properly defended you will still run into problems. We saw that in December 2013 when our base was attacked in Maiduguri and some air asset destroyed. We don’t want that to happen again. So, what we have been doing all the while is to build the capacity of base defense.
“The evolving security environment globally and indeed our nation has become complex and most times unpredictable. We are faced with a myriad of security challenges ranging from terrorism to militancy, kidnapping to economic sabotage.”
He added, “Given the importance of bases in the airpower delivery matrix, it is not inconceivable to expect our adversaries to target our bases. As a matter of fact, we have had an attack on one of our airbases in the recent past, and current intelligence reports keep highlighting the possibility of attacks on our bases.