19 January 2013

Nigeria: NAF Deploys Fighter Jets to Mali

The Nigerian Air Force yesterday sent two of its Alpha jets to Mali totake part in the on-going military operations against militants there.

Nigeria had on Thursday dispatched a company of soldiers using the C-130 aircraft.

Director of Information and Public Relation, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas said the aircraft were deployed to Mali following the approval of President Goodluck Jonathan to do so.

He said Nigeria was sending fighter and transport aircraft to partake in the current militaryoperations in Mali. Four pilots have flown two Alpha jets to Mali fromAbuja. The Commander 99 Air Combat Training Group Air Vice Marshal Tayo Oguntoyinbo was to lead the Malian operation air component as well as the Nigerian pilots.

They will stop at Niamey, Niger on theirway. Two additional Alpha jets based in Kainji Niger State will be sent to Mali later.

He said the Air Force G-222 aircraft on Thursday, left Port Harcourt, Rivers State with Air Force personnel to Mali. The team of fighter pilots was seen off by the Chief of Training and Operations, Headquarters Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Dickson Dillimono as they flew out of Abuja for Niamey.

The next deployment ofNigerian Air Force Mi-35 Helicopters from Nigeria to Mali will takeplace today. Meanwhile, C-130 aircraft have continued to airlift army personnel and equipment to Mali.

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