The Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Taoreed Lagbaja, says the Army is reactivating its Air wing to enhance its operations and relieve pressure on the Nigerian Air Force, NAF.
Mr Lagbaja made this known to newsmen shortly after addressing participants of Senior Course 46 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, AFCSC, Jaji, on Tuesday.
The lecture was on the COAS’ Command Philosophy and Nigeria’s contemporary and emerging security environment.
Mr Lagbaja said that the Nigerian Army would acquire helicopters to support troops during patrols and operations, to dominate all adversaries.
He added that doing so would make the NAF concentrate more on the delivery of high operational and strategic requirements.
Mr Lagbaja also said that the air wing would enable the Army to take care of tactical requirements in terms of air interdictions.
The COAS however stressed that the Army and NAF would continue to work effectively together to tackle the security challenges in the country.
Mr Lagbaja explained that it was the global practice in the military for the Army to have integral helicopters while leaving strategic demands to the Air Force.
“When we acquire the helicopters and other platforms, what we intend to achieve is to have organic helicopter formations and units in the fields, so that when troops are going for patrols, there is a helicopter overhead.
“The helicopters will provide intelligence surveillance, reconnaissance reports and air interdiction.
“For large-scale strategic offensive, we will still rely on the NAF,” he added.
On his command philosophy, the COAS said sharing his ideas and thoughts with students of the college would enable them to be in tune with the strategic thinking of the Army Headquarters.
He said that the command philosophy was anchored on transforming the Nigerian Army into a well-trained, equipped and highly motivated force.
Mr Lagbaja said this was necessary to achieve the Army’s constitutional responsibilities working jointly among themselves and with other services.
“As I am thinking of driving training, operational and leadership effectiveness and administration to the troops, commanders at all the strata of command would also be thinking alike.
“Doing so, we can jointly have a better Nigerian Army,” Mr Lagbaja said.
Also, the Commandant AFCSC, AVM Hassan Alhaji, expressed appreciation to the COAS for practically taking the lead by delivering the lecture in person.
He said that by sharing his thoughts, the officers would be guided on the direction he is taking the Nigerian Army.
Mr Alhaji urged the officers to imbibe the leadership qualities espoused by the COAS to sharpen their command capabilities and effectively deliver on assigned tasks.