The Nigerian Air Force used mercenaries in it's fight against Boko Haram insurgents

A pair of Mi-35 gunship firing flares
ABUJA-The former Nigerian Air Force Chief of Administration at the Nigerian Air Force headquarters,  Air Vice Marshal Mohammed A. Mamu revealed that the Nigerian Air Force high command hired mercenaries in it's fight against the deadly Boko Haram terrorist network in 2014. He revealed this information during a briefing on Friday october 2017 where he is being held by the EFCC for a four-count charge of bribery and corruption.

According to him, he said that the mercenaries was called in due to “the terrible performance of our armed forces at the height of the war against Boko Haram towards the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2014.”
A Nigerian military F.O.B
He further stated that the firm which the contract to supply the soldiers of fortune was Hima Abubakar of Societe D’Equipments Internationaux Nigeria Limited. 

Additionally,  he went on to confirm that due to the efforts of the mercenaries, the fight against the insurgents was given a new boost as prior to their enlistment, the NAF could not conduct night bombardment.

Although, unfortunately a mercenary combat pilot under the name Captain Chup Vasyl from Ukraine crashed his aircraft and was killed. His family was compensated with a lump sum of $100,000 USD. The type of aircraft he was  flying is the Mil Mi-35 assault gunship. The captains remains was cremated at the behest of his family.

It's quite a surprise that the Nigerian Air Force would be conducting anti-terrorist combat operations with mercenaries when they have a very large pool of combat ready fighter pilots. The NAF has a very capable flight training schools which is well renowned in Africa and beyond.

The use of mercenaries isnt new for the Nigerian military, a trend they have been following since the country's civil war in the 70's.  Several South African  Mercenaries were even employed in the current counter insurgency fight, such as Executive Outcomes lead by the famous Eeben Barrow.

The NAF (and the whole Armed Forces) has been plaqued by years of neglect and incessant corruption such as funds looting. The major aircraft used by the country in it's ongoing anti-terrorist operations includes:

12 Alpha jets
10 F-7N
6 L-39 Albatross
Mi-24 hind
Mi-35 superhind
Mi-17sh terminator
Gazelle utility helicopter
E. T. C

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  1. A large number of Air Forces or more so government armed forces makes use of consultants or private military companies.

    Unfortunately Nigeria had a severe shortage of qualified personnel during the BH insurgency which required a rapid solution.

    This is not the first time an African air force has made use of foreign pilots. During the Eritrean–Ethiopian War, a Mig-29 went up against a SU-27. The pilots were Ukrainian and Russian.

    PMC's have their place in today's world where it is prohibitively expensive to maintain a permanent capability for some armed forces especially ones which struggle to maintain a modern budget due to fiscal pressures.

    Returning to the Nigerian example, the use of PMC's that have extensive experience within composite warfare and counterinsurgency. This is not a skill that can be quickly learnt and due to the nature of what Nigeria experienced with BH it required a stop gap measure whereby the Nigerian military could build that capacity in house.

    1. Thanks for stopping by..

      Since the beginning of warfare... Mercenary service has always been called upon when the needs arises. That is a common knowledge.

      Nigeria is not an exception considering that the country has used PMC's service albeit discretely since the civil war.

      Nonetheless, what makes the Nigerian case quite intriguing is that the ex-chief said that and I quote
      According to him, he said that the mercenaries were called in due to “the terrible performance of our armed forces at the height of the war against Boko Haram towards the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2014.”

      One wonders why at such a time the Nigerian Military should be performing badly at their own home turf.

      He further stated that the NAF couldn't fly night bombing missions prior to the engagement of the PMC's.

      Quite disheartening if I must say.

      Please come back for more of your great commentary.


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