November 7, 2020
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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is set to deploy four Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) as part of efforts to address armed banditry and others.

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this, while on a one-day operational visit to Gusau, to inspect the site for the proposed runway and other facilities, which are expected to serve as the Northwest UCAV Base for the NAF.

A statement by the director of public relations and information, Air Commodore
Ibikunle Daramola said the visit, which began with a courtesy call on the Zamfara State governor, Dr Bello Mohammed Matawalle, also afforded the CAS the opportunity to inspect some facilities at NAF Base Gusau.

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Speaking during the courtesy call at Government House Gusau, Air Marshal Abubakar thanked the government and good people of Zamfara State for their support and hospitality to the NAF since the establishment of the 207 Quick Response Group (207 QRG) in the State.

He further expressed satisfaction with reports that NAF personnel operating
under Sector 1 of Operation HADARIN DAJI had been performing their assigned tasks professionally, in synergy with other security agencies, whilst also ensuring cordial relationship with host communities.

He disclosed that he was in Zamfara State at the instance of the Commander- in Chief (C-in-C) of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, who had authorized the construction of a runway and ancillary facilities in Gusau for the deployment of 4 newly acquired UCAVs to cover Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi and Katsina states as well as
parts of Kaduna State. While highlighting the capabilities of the UCAVs, the CAS noted that the unmanned aircraft could remain airborne for up to 26 hours providing persistent presence over areas of interest.

He revealed that the four UCAVs were part of the 8 UAVs recently acquired by the Federal Government to enhance the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) as well as strike capabilities of the NAF not only in the fight against armed banditry in the Northwest and North Central but also in counterinsurgency operations in the North East.

BY TARKAA DAVID,

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