By Air Vice Marshal OLATOKUNBO ADESANYA, Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force.
NIGERIAN AIR FORCE, NIGERIAN ARMY ELEMENTS COMBINE TO INFLICT HEAVY CASUALTIES ON BOKO HARAM TERRORISTS
On 3 January 2018, the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE and its Nigerian Army (NA) counterparts commenced combined clearance operations of discovered Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) locations in the SAMBISA general area.
On the first day of the combined clearance operations, the Air Task Force conducted intensive bombardments on selected BHT locations, preparatory to the commencement of the operation. Previous Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions by Nigerian Air Force (NAF) platforms had revealed the presence of BHT in NJIMIA, in the SAMBISA general area, from where the insurgents launched attacks on own surface forces.
Accordingly, NAF fighter aircraft were detailed to attack the location and each of the aircraft took turns to attack structures occupied by BHT elements in the settlement. The air attacks set several BHT structures ablaze and destroyed them.
On the same day, the Air Task Force conducted air interdiction on another BHT hideout near CAMP ZAIRO. Previous ISR on the location had indicated the resurgence of BHT activities in the location, which had been previously liberated.
Accordingly, structures occupied by BHT elements in the location were attacked, in succession, by NAF fighter aircraft. The air strikes caused the destruction of more BHT structures and the neutralization of several insurgents. Some insurgents were sighted fleeing the area and they were taken out in subsequent follow-up attacks.
Later in the evening of the same day, the Air Task Force scrambled 2 fighter aircraft and one helicopter to support own surface forces that had come under BHT attack at TOKOMBERE, 12km southwest of CAMP ZAIRO. The NAF aircraft supported the troops in repelling the attack, causing the insurgents to withdraw to the northeast of TOKOMBERE.
Consequently, at about 11pm, the Air Task Force detailed another helicopter to conduct air interdiction on the insurgents’ new location. The Battle Damage Assessment from a NAF ISR platform indicated that the helicopter successfully dropped its weapons on the insurgents’ position, killing many and causing some survivors to flee.
Therefore, the ISR platform tracked the fleeing insurgents to another location and later coordinated the NA artillery bombardment of the insurgents’ new location. Several rockets were launched from the NA’s Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher, most of which landed on the insurgents, killing some of them and causing a few survivors to flee in disarray.
The ongoing combined clearance operations by NAF and NA elements are aimed at preventing the full-scale resurgence of BHT in the SAMBISA general area….