Chief of Air staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao has arrived in Maiduguri as the search and rescue efforts for the missing Alpha jet intensified.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha-Jet lost contact with radar in Borno state, while on interdiction mission in support of ground troops. The mission was part of the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the North East. The loss of radar contact occurred at about 5:08 pm on 31 March 2021.
According to Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, Director of Public Relations, Amao, on arrival, was briefed on ongoing search and rescue efforts for the missing jet.
In a meeting later on, with Air Force personnel, Amao urged pilots, engineers & technicians to remain undeterred & resolute in their commitment to ensuring that peace returns to the North East.
There is yet no clue as to whether the jet was shot down by Boko Haram or ISWAP or whether it crashed somewhere.
Gabkwet first alerted Nigerians on Wednesday night about the missing plane.
He said the jet, on a routine mission in support of Nigerian troops at one of the Theatres of Operation in the Northern part of Nigeria, had lost radar contact.
He later clarified that the jet was operating in Borno state, the theatre of 12-year war with Boko Haram and Islamic State of West African fighters.
He said the Alpha jet was on an interdiction mission in support of ground troops, when it lost contact and that search and rescue efforts were ongoing.
According to the statement, the loss of radar contact occurred at about 5:08 pm on March 31.
Gabkwet said the plane was “on routine mission in support of its own troops at one of the Theatres of Operation in the Northern part of Nigeria”.
Details of the whereabouts of the aircraft or likely cause of contact loss are still sketchy but will be relayed to the general public as soon as they become clear. Meanwhile, search and rescue efforts are ongoing.”
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