The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has expressed its willingness to assist the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) in developing its airpower capability.
The NAF’s Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao stated this while receiving the Armed Forces of Liberia Chief of Staff (CoS), Major General Prince Charles Johnson III, earlier this month while 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’s Air Wing.
In 2018 the Nigerian Air Force trained two Liberian pilots, the first since the end of that country’s civil war in 2003. They were tasked with establishing the Liberia 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,” Ohwo said. 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 the AFL contingent to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) in Mali once the request is made.
Johnson III stated that he was in Nigeria to further strengthen the bilateral ties between the AFL and Armed Forces of 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.
He added that at present, Liberia is aiming to establish an Air Wing or Air Reconnaissance Unit and solicited the NAF’s technical assistance to facilitate the establishment of its Air Wing. He requested the NAF to continue to assist the country in providing training slots for pilot and non-pilot courses.