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NAF@60: African Air Force Chiefs Gather in Abuja to Address Continent’s Security Challenges

NAF@60: African Air Force Chiefs Gather in Abuja to Address Continent’s Security Challenges

By Lawrence Audu

Top military officials from African nations have assembled in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, for the 3rd African Air Forces Forum aimed at tackling the various security issues plaguing the continent. The forum, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Air Force, has drawn defense experts, policymakers, and warfare solution providers to engage in discussions and develop strategies to address pressing security concerns.

In his opening speech, Minister of Defence Badaru Abubakar highlighted the significant contributions of the Nigerian Air Force in combating terrorism, banditry, insurgency, and other criminal activities that threaten the nation’s stability. Praising the progress made in internal security operations, Abubakar emphasized the need for collaboration among air forces and industry stakeholders to effectively address evolving security threats that transcend borders.

“As we mark the 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Air Force, it is essential for us to forge strategic partnerships in aerospace innovation at a regional level,” stated Abubakar. The discussions at the forum are expected to underscore the importance of cooperation between the Nigerian Air Force and its counterparts from other countries, emphasizing the vital role of air power capabilities in enhancing stability and border security.

Abubakar expressed optimism that the accompanying exhibition would showcase key technological advancements necessary for the Nigerian Air Force to bolster its capabilities in counter-terrorism and security operations. The event aims to highlight the critical role of collaboration and technological innovation in shaping the development and effectiveness of air power in the region.

Earlier in his remarks the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, acknowledged the colourful diversity of comrades at arms and partners from across the globe together in a friendly atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect. Noting that their presence is proof that the profession of arms is a bridge builder across strategic and geopolitical boundaries.

Speaking further, Abubakar averred that: “It is widely acknowledged that Sub-Saharan Africa faces a multitude of national security challenges, including violent extremism, terrorism, and insurgency. In addressing these threats, air power has emerged as the means of choice due to its unique characteristics of speed, lethality, and ubiquity.

“Therefore, this gathering of African Air Chiefs could not have come at a better time than now when the yearning for collaboration towards peace and stability on the continent is at its peak. Accordingly, the all-important issue of partnership in aerospace innovation to sustain our air power capabilities, to protect and advance our Defence and Security interests would form the crux of our discussions in the Third African Air Forces Forum.

The African Air Forces Forum is a regional platform for advancing air force capabilities and building pillars of bilateral and multilateral partnerships amongst the air forces of African countries. The Forum offers a unique opportunity for air forces to showcase their technological innovations that contribute to enhance Africa’s aerial defence and security capabilities.

This year’s symposium, with the theme: “Leveraging Strategic Partnerships in Aerospace Innovations for Regional Security” reflects a critical aspect of collective efforts in securing the African Continent.

In attendance are the Honourable Minister of Defence, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar, Chief of Defence Staff GeneralCG Musa, the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Ikechukwu Ogalla, Representative of the Chief of Army Staff, Air Chiefs from diverse African countries and combat solution and support providers from across the globe.

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