US, Nigeria Unveil $38m Upgraded Air Force Base

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Senior United States Department of State and Department of Defence officials joined Nigeria’s Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao, and other Nigerian partners to celebrate the completion of the $38m improvements to the Kainji Air Force Base on Thursday.

According to a statement, the base improvements were delivered as part of a larger $500m US foreign military sale to Nigeria, which also included the delivery of 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, precision munitions, and trainings.

Amao was represented by Air Vice Marshal Nnamdi Ananaba at the event. The US Chargé d’Affaires for Nigeria, David Greene; Director of the US Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate, Brig. Gen. Joel Safranek; US Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division Commander, Col. John Lloyd; and other US officials joined Amao and other Nigerian Air Force partners at the celebration.

Chargé d’Affaires Greene said, “Since my arrival in Nigeria last year, I have closely tracked the progress of the A-29 programme and I’m grateful today, to celebrate the fruits of US-Nigerian partnership and commitment.

“Nigeria’s A-29 programme is the largest US foreign military sales case to date to a country in Sub-Saharan Africa, an example of Nigeria’s leadership in being, as is the Nigerian Air Force’s motto, ‘willing, able, and ready’ to contribute to security and stability at home and around the region.”

Lloyd added, “The US Army Corps of Engineers proudly supports our international partners like Nigeria by providing unique engineering expertise to bolster security capabilities, strengthen strategic relationships and contribute to regional security.

“Here at Kainji Air Base, it has been an absolute privilege to partner with the US Embassy, US Air Force, and the Nigerian Air Force to deliver these support facilities for their new fleet of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.”

The statement further said the base improvements were delivered in two main phases, with the first phase completed in summer 2021 to allow for the safe delivery of the first A-29 aircraft, which play a key role in Nigerian Air Force operations to combat violent extremist organisations, such as ISIS-West Africa and Boko Haram.

It added that crews were finishing the second and final phase of air base improvement projects, which include improved base security, munitions storage and maintenance, aircraft hangars and aprons, and training facilities to ensure the continued successful operations of the new fighter wing.

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