DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS TAKES LEAD IN ALL JOINT OPERATIONS - Air Marshal Amao

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Oladayo Amao has stated that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and other sister Services have agreed to subordinate themselves to the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) under the able leadership of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor. According to him, just as it is obtainable in military organizations worldwide, the DHQ is responsible for the command and control of the entire Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) which also means that all ongoing joint operations and Joint Task Forces are directly subordinated to the DHQ, and their commanders report directly to the CDS. This, he said, is the new line the Service Chiefs have all agreed to tow as efforts are on to bring the various security challenges to an end. Air Marshal Amao made this known in Makurdi while on his maiden tour of Tactical Air Command (TAC). According to him, 'When we say we are members of the AFN, we mean the 3 Services represent a single entity. When we accept the fact that we the members of the AFN constitute a united entity, the need for rivalry will not arise.'

Air Marshal Amao also spoke of his administration's resolve to revert to the military tradition of adherence to seniority and hierarchy in the appointment of officers to head command posts. 'Situations where subordinate officers are given command appointments ahead of their seniors does not augur well for the system as this breeds insubordination and indiscipline'. Speaking on discipline, Air Marshal Amao stated that there would be no sacred cows when it comes to discipline as those found wanting would be punished as ascribed in the Armed Forces Act. He also spoke of the impending arrival of some platforms purchased for the NAF to Makurdi and urged personnel to support the 131 Engineering Group, being the hub of some of the platforms, as well as make the foreign technicians feel at home. The platforms, according to the CAS, when fully operational would be deployed immediately to the theatres of operations and should hopefully be the game changers in all DHQ led operations nationwide.

The CAS also stated that efforts were currently underway to improve the combat efficiency of the NAF and other services to an appreciable level and these efforts have the full backing of the President and Commander -in - Chief of the AFN, President Muhammadu Buhari. He then enjoined NAF personnel to continue to support the Federal Government in its efforts to equip the NAF and other Services.

Personnel welfare also got a boost as the CAS assured that non promotion of NAF personnel due to inability to attend courses that should enable their upgrading would be given special consideration as soon as they meet the criteria set for the promotion. On NAF post service housing schemes, the CAS frowned at the situation where personnel are compelled and put under financial duress just to meet up with initial deposits for the houses. According to him, 'Housing schemes by the NAF should be easily affordable and stress-free.' He then directed the Chief of Administration to work out modalities where payment for houses would be deducted from monthly salaries and not in lump sums that usually exert undue pressure on personnel. 'These practices have proven to be effective and efficient in other developing countries and I see no reason why we can't try it here', he said.

The visit, which had the Chiefs of Training and Operations, Logistics, Air Intelligence and Aircraft Engineering in attendance saw the CAS tour various units within TAC Makurdi.

Edward Gabkwet

Air Commodore

Director of Public Relations and Information

26 March 21

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