Chief of the Air Staff , Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has visited Air Force units in Makurdi, Benue state, as part of a tour being undertaken to assess and enhance the operational effectiveness of Nigerian Air Force units across the country.
He also visited the Headquarters of Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS.
The Chairman House Committee on the Air Force, Mr. Samson Okwu, also accompanied the Air chief on the visit.
During the visit, they were briefed by both the Joint Task Force Commander, Major General Adeyemi Yekini, and the Air Component Commander/Deputy Force Commander OPWS, Group Captain Precious Amadi.
The briefing highlighted the successes recorded since the establishment of the Operation, which had led to a reduction in violence in the 3 states under the Force’s area of responsibility, namely Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States.
The Air chief said: “The NAF had therefore contributed about 300 Special Forces personnel to OPWS along with the deployment of an array of fighter aircraft, Mi-35 helicopter gunships as well as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platforms to bring an end to the security challenges in the State.”
One of the highlights of the visit was the formal induction of the Mi-35P helicopter gunship, NAF 531, for combat duties in OPWS, as part of NAF’s contributions towards curbing violence in Benue State and environs.
The helicopter was recently declared serviceable following the completion of in-country overhaul/life extension programme carried out by Air Force engineers and technicians, who worked closely with some foreign technical partners.