Abuja – The Nigerian Airforce has carried out a Counter terrorism simulation exercise inside the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport with Special Forces including Bomb disposal experts and the Regiment force with a Super Puma military Helicopter dropping airborne snipers from the air.
Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar disclosed that the exercise which also had support from the Army, Navy, NSA office, NEMA among others, was a pro-active measure aimed at preparing special forces of the NAF for any terrorist attacks on the nation’s airport in future.
Speaking with journalists the during the exercise, the Air Chief said, “This exercise is very significant because the regiment forces, quick response forces, are participating in this exercise. They were trained by the Nigeria Air Force using taxpayers money.
“What we want is to have a force that is actually going to be effective in the event of any problem in our airports. You can have all the training, you can have all the skills. Unless you are tested from time to time, you will not be able to know whether there will be gaps.
“The whole essence of this exercise is to ensure that there are no gaps. And you also need to have the cooperation of the other agencies, coordinating with other agencies. It must be evaluated from time to time to know whether there will be problems in real situations.
“I want to appreciate the Airport authorities, I want to appreciate all the other agencies of government, the Army is represented here, the Navy is here with us, the national security adviser’s office, is also here with us. The other security agencies, immigration customs, FAAN, security, everybody is involved to ensure that we are able to deal with these situations if they arise.
“I think that is the significant and I. Am very happy that we have been able to test the plans we have been having for this airport and whatever gaps there are, we will be able to quickly go back and debrief and see where there are areas of difficulties.
“On the fate of other airports that may also fall victim, Air Marshal Sadique said, “Certainly, we are starting with Nnamdi Azikiwe, we are going Lagos,we going to Port Harcourt, we are going to Kano, and we have enough special forces to undertake this type of operation in any airport in any part of the country.
Emphasizing that “we are not anticipating anything of such, he said, “like I said, thus is just an exercise, it is very important that you evaluate your plan from time to time. Or else you might have some gaps in what you have put together. So this is not done because we are anticipating anything or any attack on our airports, no. If you have to do any without anticipating, then, it would be too late”
. “Right now, we have deployments in most of the airports, of this special forces. So, if there is anything outside what we are expecting, it is to quickly mobilize the forces and they are in different parts of the country. They can be mobilized without any difficulty.”