The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commissioned a new, state-of-the-art Geospatial Intelligence Data Centre (GIDC) at the Headquarters NAF Abuja.
The Director Public Relations and Information NAF, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola noted that the GIDC is to further enhance the ongoing Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) efforts in the North East and other parts of Nigeria.
Daramola said the Centre, which is equipped with high-tech computer hardware and software, would improve NAF capacity for acquisition, exploitation, analysis and interpretation of imagery and geospatial information to provide actionable intelligence for the Armed Forces and other security agencies.
In his remarks, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin, who was the Guest of Honour at the commissioning ceremony, commended the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for the laudable initiative.
He said that “the new Centre would undoubtedly add value to the efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) in better securing the Country and making it a safer place for all.”
He also expressed delight with the readiness of the NAF to make the products of the Centre available not only to the AFN but also to other security agencies like the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), who could use it to determine old and new border crossing points used by illegal immigrants or smugglers.
The CDS also noted that the Centre could not have come into being at a more auspicious time than now with various areas of disturbance in the Country, while adding that it was indeed a testimony of prudent management of resources by the leadership of the NAF.
While making his remarks, the CAS, Air Marshal Abubakar, stated that the establishment of the NAF GIDC was as a result of the resolve of the Service to continue to build capacity across the spectrum of operations so as to bring the fight against terrorism and other forms of criminality in the Country to an end as soon as possible.
He reiterated that “the Centre would employ and deploy satellite and other cutting edge technologies, including sophisticated and high-value computer software, to gather and analyse data to produce intelligence in support of NAF and joint operations across the Country”.
The CAS added that, in its effort to operate at par with militaries all over the world, the NAF “embarked on the worthwhile endeavor by leapfrogging from traditional means of intelligence gathering to the use of space-borne platforms in the production of actionable intelligence for operational effectiveness“.
The CAS, who used the opportunity to express his profound gratitude to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his continued support and encouragement to the NAF, also thanked the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, the CDS as well as local and foreign partners, for their collaboration through which the project became a reality.
The CDS, CAS and other dignitaries, including the Comptroller-General (CG) of the NCS, Colonel Hameed Ali (retired), were conducted on a guided tour of facilities in the GIDC.
One of the highlights of the ceremony was the presentation of one of the products of the Centre, printed satellite images of specific areas of interest, to the CDS and CG NCS.