Air Commodore Apochi Ohwo, the Air Component Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, says that the Nigerian Air Force has conducted a total of 701 missions from January to March against the insurgents.
Ohwo made this known on Tuesday in Yola while briefing newsmen on the activities of the air component within the period.
“Our air effort has been focused largely on generating ISR and AR sorties both day and night while conducting several airlift missions in support of ground troops.
“Overall, from January to March a total of 701 missions were conducted in 974 sorties with a total of 1, 486 hours and 26 minutes flown by various platforms.
“For all these sorties, a total of 1,227,982 litres of MOGAS were consumed. For jet A1 alone, at current rate of N280 per litre, the cost amounted to N343,834,960,” Ohwo said.
Ohwo said that surveillance footage by the NAF indicated that some insurgents that escaped from camp Zairo in Sambisa forest had ran to west of the forest while some moved towards Gwoza and Tangoshe hills, adding that the force was concentrating its activities in the affected areas to further decimate the remaining insurgents.
The commander said the major problem to the operations in the area was adverse weather.
“Dust haze reduced visibility and impacted negatively on some air operations. There were days that flight had to be delayed or cancelled.”
The commander said that in view of the approaching rainy season the force would introduce Mi-35M helicopter, which is an all weather aircraft, to sustain the offensive on the insurgents.
He said the out come from preliminary investigations into the mistaken bombing of an IDP camp in Rann in January had led adoption of some measures to forestall future occurrence.
Ohwo said that NAF medical team had treated 31,835 IDPs in various camps. (NAN)