30th April, 2018
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it will inaugurate two MI-35M combat helicopters as part of activities lined-up for its 54th anniversary celebration on May 4 and May 5 in Kaduna.
The Chairman, Organising Committee for the anniversary, AVM Charles Ohwo, disclosed this at a news conference on Monday, in Abuja.
Ohwo said that the anniversary which doubled as the 2018 NAF Day Celebration would hold at the Air Force Base in Kaduna.
He said the theme of the anniversary is “Enhancing Nigerian Air Force Operational Capability for Timely Employment of Air Power in Response to Contemporary Security Challenges”.
The chairman said that the priority of the Nigerian Air Force “is to consolidate on the gains of employment of air power, especially at this critical stage in our nation’s history.”
“During the anniversary, the attack helicopters would be commissioned while erstwhile colours of Training Command would be retired,” he said.
According to him, the new colours would be presented to the newly established Air Training Command and Ground Training Command by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ohwo said that a medical outreach programme would also be conducted which aimed at “giving back to the society especially, those who are not opportune to access such medical facilities.”
He said about 500 patients would be treated during the occasion in Kaduna, noting that the medical outreach would also be carried out simultaneously in other NAF commands across the country.
Ohwo said that on May 4, there would also be historical photo gallery, Research and Development display, and a gala night.
The chairman said ceremonial parade, presentation of colors, inauguration of attack helicopters and aerial display, would hold on Saturday, May 5.
He urged the public and people of Kaduna not to panic because of the movement of air platforms that would take place during the period.
NAF earlier today took delivery of the two MI-35M combat helicopters at its Tactical Air Command in Makurdi, Benue State.
Receiving the helicopters at the Tactical Air Command Flight Line in Makurdi, the Chief of Air staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, said they were acquired by the Federal Government to enhance security operations in the country.
Abubakar, who was represented by the NAF Chief of Aircraft Engineering, AVM Abdulganiyu Olabisi, disclosed that the aircraft were delivered into the country by a team of Russian experts who would also assemble the machines.
The air chief explained that the entire country was disturbed by the ongoing security challenges, assuring that the helicopters would enhance security efficiency in the country.
The Director, Public Relations and Information (DOPRI) NAF headquarters Abuja, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesaniya also told newsmen in Makurdi that the MI-35M helicopters was the most sophisticated in the category of MI helicopter gunship.
He said some of the special features of the aircraft included executing warfare in the night.
According to him, the helicopters would assist the force in checkmating the activities of bandits especially within the North- Central region of Nigeria.