The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has established a Combat Reconnaissance Group (203 CRG) that will serve as the base for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and other air assets, in Gombe state.
The unit is expected to bring new capabilities to the NAF’s operations and further enhance the ability of the force to contain terrorism and other security threats across the country.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the new base “is strategically located to enable the NAF more effectively respond to contingencies in the North East, adding that the establishment of the unit would add significant value to the operations of the NAF in the fight against insurgency and other security challenges in the country.
The CAS said in line with his vision, the NAF organizational structure had been expanded from the erstwhile 4 Commands to 6 with the creation of 2 new Field Commands, one of which be said is the Special Operations Command (SOC) headquartered in Bauchi, as well as several new units including some Quick Response Groups and Quick Response Wings, to bring security closer to the people of Nigeria.
According to him, these new units are located at Gembu in Taraba state; Gusau in Zamfara state; Owerri in Imo state; Agatu in Benue state Kerang in Plateau state; Ipetu Ijesha in Osun state; Lafia in Nasarawa state as well as Birnin Gwari in Kaduna state, amongst others.
Air Marshal Abubakar also noted that, in response to the security imperatives in the North East, the NAF had expanded its facilities at the Headquarters of the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE in Maiduguri, Borno State as well as at the NAF Base in Yola, Adamawa State, while a Unit had been established in Damaturu, Yobe State.
“These new units and expansions, coupled with others carried out across the Country, have undoubtedly enhanced the capacity of the NAF to ensure that Nigeria is secured and our citizens are able to pursue their legitimate aspirations without fear”, he said.
The CAS said that the establishment of the base in Gombe was another clear testimony of the government’s commitment to overcoming the security challenges in the North East and indeed the entire Country.
“The Commander, as well as the first set of personnel to man the Unit, are already posted to Gombe and, in the days and weeks ahead, they will work with the State Government to ensure that the Group is ready to commence active operations in the shortest possible time”, he added
In his remarks, the SGOH, the Governor of Gombe State commending the Air chief for “his excellent record and sterling leadership of the NAF which had resulted in giant strides”.
He expressed joy at the efforts put in place by the Service to fast-track the establishment of a Base in Gombe State on land that was allocated by the state government barely a month ago.