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U.S. to Aid Nigerian Air Force to Fight the ISIS

The United States Air Force has been extending international collaborations for strengthening military and defense. The Nigerian air force is a recent example, fed by the U.S. Air Force. The Nigerian air force has somewhere around a squadron worth of light attack aircraft. The training required for the pilots and maintainers to fly such aircraft is provided by the U.S. Air Force personnel.

The Nigerian force is primarily established to encounter terrorists in Africa.The newly introduced A-29 Super Tucano was broadcasted during the induction ceremony held by the U.S. Africa Command on August 31. The collaborative efforts have witnessed the training of 64 pilots along with maintenance crews of the Nigerian air force. The training sessions have been conducted at the Moody Air Force Base in Georgia with the help of the U.S. Air Force’s 81st Fighter Squadron.

The Super Tucano shows advanced capabilities of conducting surveillance, intelligence, and reconnaissance missions. It will enhance the precision of air-to-ground strikes significantly, claims Africa Command. It has been a longstanding goal for Nigeria to secure the aircraft for its fight against Boko Haram militants along with the ISIS West Africa branch.

The United States permitted the sale of A-29s to Nigeria. This was a whole package consisting of munitions, training, other types of equipment, logistics, and maintenance support. The U.S. also extended support through the multi-year construction for modifying the Kainji airbase. The deal between the U.S. and Africa is considered the largest Foreign Military Sales program across sub-Saharan Africa, worth $500 million.

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