The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Mshl Sadique Abubakar today visited 97 Special Operations Group (SOG) Port Harcourt to assess the operational status of the unit and welfare of the personnel. The visit was to enable the NAF leadership know first-hand how to address the challenges facing the unit in order to enhance the operational effectiveness and efficiency of the Air Component of Operation Delta Safe.
The visit was to enable the NAF leadership know first-hand the challenges facing the unit and how best to address them for enhanced operational effectiveness and efficiency. As the Air Component of OPERATION DELTA SAFE, the 97 SOG has been actively involved in the ongoing joint military operations to curb pipeline vandalism, illegal bunkering, armed banditry and other forms of economic sabotage in the Niger Delta. Of recent, the unit has destroyed a number of illegal refineries and oil barges carrying stolen petroleum products, in addition to undertaking aerial surveillance missions to provide intelligence for the operations of the surface forces. These are aimed at protecting the lives and property of the citizenry as well as safeguard the nation’s oil facilities in the region.
Air Mshl Abubakar also used the opportunity of his to Port Harcourt to commission newly provided accommodation facilities put-in place to enhance the welfare of personnel and dependants in the unit. The new projects include a newly constructed block of 18 units of 2-bedroom flats for Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs), a remodelled block of 10 units of one-bedroom apartment for Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and assembly ground newly provided for Air Force Secondary School, Port Harcourt.
The new facilities were commissioned by former Chief of Policy and Plans at the Defence Headquarters and one-time Chief of Administration at Headquarters Nigerian Air Force (HQ NAF), Air Vice Marshal Tomboiyi Dick-Iruenabere (retired). Meanwhile, the retired senior officer has used the occasion to call on the people of Niger Delta, particularly the youths, to embrace peace and dialogue by working with the Federal Government to find lasting solutions to the problems in the region.