The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has expressed its willingness to assist in developing the airpower capability of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao stated this while receiving the Chief of Staff (CoS), AFL, Major General Prince Charles Johnson III who was on a courtesy visit to NAF Headquarters in Abuja.
Represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal Charles Ohwo, the CAS stated that the NAF would provide the necessary technical and engineering support towards ensuring the activation of the AFL Air Wing, a release says.
Air Marshal Amao reassured the CoS of NAF’s continued support to provide recurrency training for the only two existing AFL pilots who were trained in Nigeria.
Air Marshal Amao stated that the NAF would further assist in training pilots of AFL to ensure operationalization of its Air Wing.
“Whenever you have pilots for further training, be rest assured that our training schools are open for them to become full-fledged pilots under the Nigerian Air Force pilots training programme,” said Air Marshal Amao.
He went on to advise the AFL to take advantage of NAF’s technical and engineering schools for non-pilot courses such as the Air Traffic Control and ground support crew.
The CAS also noted that the NAF would support the AFL in providing airlift capability for AFL’s contingent to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) in Mali once the request is made.
In his remarks, Major General Prince Charles Johnson III stated that he was in Nigeria to further strengthen the bilateral ties between the AFL and Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).
General Johnson added that he was in Nigeria to appreciate the AFN for its support to Liberia over the years, especially during the civil war.
He also appreciated the ‘big brother’ role of the AFN as the regional superpower.
General Johnson added that the relative peace and stability being enjoyed by his country as well as its achievements were a result of the enormous support from Nigeria.
He noted that most of the NAF’s senior officers, some of whom are still in service, had sacrificed a lot in helping Liberia get back on track after the country’s devastating civil war.
Major General Johnson further stated that presently, the country’s strategic military objective is to establish an Air Wing or Air Reconnaissance Unit for the AFL as prescribed by Liberian’s National Defense Act which is yet to be actualized.
He, therefore, solicited NAF’s technical assistance to facilitate the establishment of its Air Wing, considering NAF’s expertise in airpower.
He continued that Nigeria’s military assistance to Liberia is numerous and cannot be over-emphasized, especially in the training of its pilots.
Accordingly, he requested NAF to continue to assist the country in providing training slots for pilot and non-pilot courses with a view to tapping Nigeria’s vast experience in defense and security.
On the CoS’ entourage were Col. J.S. Willie, Commander, Coast Guard, AFL; Lt. Col. L.M. Lamon, Deputy Defense Attaché, Accra; as well as the two AFL pilots, among others.