The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has activated the 21 Quick Response Wing (21 QRW) at Agatu, Benue State.
The unit, which is under the control of the 211 Quick Response Group, Owerri, was established to further enhance NAF’s ability to respond to internal security threats within the Nasarawa-Benue States corridor, working in synergy with other security agencies.
The CAS, who was accompanied by the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command (AOC SOC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Samson Akpasa, and other senior officers from NAF Headquarters, was received in Agatu by the chairperson, Agatu Local Government Area (LGA), Honourable Comfort Echida, as well as the traditional ruler of Agatu, Chief Dr Godwin Ngbede.
Speaking during the activation ceremony, the CAS said he was delighted to be in Agatu to personally activate the 21 QRW.
He stated that the decision to establish the QRW in Agatu, as well as the QRWs established at Nguroje in Taraba State and Doma in Nasarawa State, was taken following thorough analysis of the security threat in the environment.
He noted that the establishment of the unit would contribute immensely towards curbing spate of attacks in the area while ensuring that peace is sustained.
Abubakar stressed that the NAF would continue to embrace additional facilities, equipment and manpower in the QRW to enable it function effectively and fulfil its mandate, adding that the ultimate aim was to have at least 500 Special Forces personnel in the unit along with complements of support personnel from other NAF specialties.
The CAS revealed that NAF would eventually construct a Helipad in the Base to enable the deployment of helicopter gunships to support operations in the area, whenever required.
He therefore assured the chairperson, Agatu LGA, the traditional ruler of Agatu and other members of the community that the NAF would continue to do its best to add value to the community.
In a statement by the director, public relations and information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Air Chief further announced that the NAF would conduct a 7-day medical outreach for members of the host community in Agatu, which would cater for their medical and minor surgical needs while major surgical cases would be referred to the NAF Hospital in Makurdi with adequate arrangements made for medical evaluation.
He added that the NAF would also set up a well-equipped Medical Centre at the 21 QRW that would provide free medical services to the host community.
He, however, requested the continued support of the traditional ruler, community leaders and all members of the community to provide much needed intelligence that would facilitate the conduct of operations to counter threats in the area.
Air Marshal Sadique handed over the 9,000 litres storage capacity automated borehole system and 16 tap heads to the chairperson, Agatu LGA and the traditional ruler of Agatu and a generator with a pledge to provide fuel to keep the borehole running.