The Nigerian Air Force said that progress is being made at 407 Air Combat Training Group (407 ACTG), NAF Base Kainji ahead of the arrival of the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar said this while hosting the United States
visiting team led by
Secretary of the United States Air Force (USAF), Hon. Barbara Barrett.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Ibikunle Daramola made the disclosure in a statement in Abuja.
Marshal Abubakar said that quite a number of officials from the US had visited the facilities while the NAF was doing everything humanly possible to secure the Base and provide an enabling environment for the aircraft to operate effectively and efficiently.
He noted that the NAF had ensured that a sufficient number of SF and Force Protection Elements were deployed to Kainji to ensure that whenever the Super Tucanos are deployed, there would not be any challenge.
“The NAF had upgraded facilities in the Base while about 4.1km road network had been constructed within the Base. Air Marshal Abubakar disclosed further that appropriate accommodation had been remodeled for the US officials and Super Tucano Instructors for them to have a conducive environment to carry out their tasks,” he revealed.
He further disclosed that the NAF was making arrangements for alternative power and water supply in Base while upgrading the medical facility to a full-fledged NAF hospital.
According to him, “We have also provided a gymnasium and some recreational facilities which, we believe, the instructor pilots coming from the US will be comfortable having”.
In the area of training, the CAS, while thanking the US for the opportunities given to the NAF to train fighter pilots, highlighted areas of training to include tactical training for C-130H pilots to enable the NAF to use the C-130H to air-drop food and other humanitarian relief items, especially in the North East where it is currently using the Bell-412 helicopter for such missions with a limited drop capability of about 300Kg per sortie.
Air Marshal Abubakar equally noted that the NAF was also interested in Aeromedical training to further boost its “Winning Hearts and Minds” efforts in the North East, where it currently has two Level 2 Hospitals at the Bama and Dalori Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps, that have been operating for more than 4 years.
He concluded that the Cancer Screening Centre in NAF Base Maiduguri is also open to IDPs who also benefit from other free secondary medical services on the Base from time to time.