The Nigerian Air Force, NAF has deployed fighter aircraft, helicopter gunships and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) to combat bandits in Zamfara State and environs.
The Air Force said it has deployed additional troops along with necessary ground support equipment and logistics facilities to Katsina and Gusau, in support of anti-armed banditry operations in the North West.
AVM Olatokunbo Adesanya, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to Adesanya, the deployment of air assists was in compliance with the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari.
” The deployment began on 29 July with the NAF C-130H aircraft airlifting required logistics in preparation for the commencement of OPERATION DIRAN MIKIYA, which commenced earlier today, 31 July 2018,” he said.
Adesanya said that the intensive air operation is aimed at seeking out, pursuing and destroying elements engaged in banditry in Zamfara State and environs.
He said that fighter aircraft, helicopter gunships as well as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms alongside necessary equipment and personnel had been deployed for the conduct of OPERATION DIRAN MIKIYA.
” The Operation, which was being conducted in close coordination with other security agencies, would be executed with precision and high intensity to quickly degrade the armed bandits and pave way for the return of normalcy in the affected areas, ” he said.
The NAF spokesman said, “there would be no hiding place for the armed bandits” as the NAF would be employing all the means at its disposal to detect the movement and locations of the armed bandits.
He said AVM Samson Akpasa, the new Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Special Operations Command (SOC), after the launch of the operation, later conducted an aerial reconnaissance mission over Gusau and environs.
” The NAF continues to solicit credible intelligence from locals, traditional heads, local government chairmen and other government functionaries to facilitate the timely accomplishment of the task at hand,” Adesanya said.