By Debo Oladimeji
Against the backdrop of insecurity in the country, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Isiaka Oladayo Amao has assured Nigerians that insecurity will soon be a thing of the past.
Speaking on the state of insecurity in the country, he said that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is resolved to bring such threats to an end in order to ensure that the Nation is safe and economically attractive.
He said the NAF will continue to do its best possible by leveraging credible partnerships, focusing on enhancing professionalism for high performance as well as motivational initiatives to create an enabling environment for its operations and personnel to thrive.
AVM Amao further stated that, though bedeviled by various forms of insecurity, ranging from the Boko Haram insurgency/terrorism in the North East to the criminal activities of pipeline vandals, crude oil thieves, sea robbers and militants in the South, the nation was also facing increasing threats from kidnappers, cattle rustlers and militarised herdsmen.
He promised to use his rich knowledge and experience, armed with this robust vision, to undoubtedly move the Nigerian Air Force to the next level, whilst building on the successes recorded by his predecessors.
According to him, “We will deploy some brave efforts to rescue our country from the despair that have been our lot. While I will sustain the strides attained by my predecessor, I will join hands with sister agencies to take Nigeria to the status of a work-in- progress. It’s very important to state here that we still need concerted effort to strike out in new direction.
“It is, therefore, with deep sense of responsibility that I promise that we must move determinedly and at great speed too to achieve the set goals the President and people as well as our resources have clearly marked for us. In all, we will make the country proud.”
He also outlined his vision for the Service, which is among other things; “to enhance and sustain critical airpower capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of national security imperatives.”
The vision is hinged on five key drivers namely;‘ Focus on doctrinal development and application of airpower in Joint military operations’; ‘pursuit of purposeful training and human capacity development’ as well as ‘sustenance of platforms and equipment serviceability through innovative maintenance methods and logistics support systems’.
He highlighted that the other key drivers are ‘fostering a disciplined workforce essential for combat readiness’ and ‘bolstering morale by improving personnel welfare’.
He admitted that the NAF would sustainably and effectively employ Air Power in the protection of Nigeria’s people and interests, against all enemies of the state.
He reiterated that his appointment was a challenge and call to national duty, especially at this crucial stage in Nigeria’s development, which he had accepted with utmost humility.
AVM Amao was born on 14 Sep 65 at Enugu. He hails from Oshogbo LGA of Osun State. He attended Nuhu Bamali Pry School Kaduna from 1971 – 77, Command Secondary School Kakuri Kaduna from 1977 – 82, Federal College of Freshwater and Fisheries Technology (FCFFT) New Bussa from 1994 – 96, University of Madras India from 2002 – 2003, Kaduna Polytechnic from 2005 – 2006 and National Defence University China from 2012 – 2013.
He enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on January 19 1984 as a member of 35 NDA Regular Course and was commissioned as Pilot Officer on 20 Dec 86. He started his Primary Flying Training at 301 Flying Training School (FTS) Kaduna from 1987 – 1989, did the Basic Flying Training at 303 FTS Kano from 1990 – 92 and Tactical Fighter Training at 99 Air Combat Training Group (99 ACTG) Kainji from 1993 – 99. Thereafter, went for Instructor Pilot Course at 301 FTS Kaduna from 2004 – 2005.
The Chief of Air Staff had served in following NAF Units: 99 ACTG Kainji as Trainee/Sqn Pilot from 1993 – 2004, 301 FTS Kaduna as Instructor Pilot/Sqn Pilot from 2004 – 2007, HQ NAF Abuja as Air Assistance to Chief of Air Staff from Sep 08 – May 10, Nigerian High Commission London as Deputy Defence Adviser from May 10 – Aug 12 and Ag Defence Adviser from Nov 11 – Feb 12, Defence Headquarter as Assistance Director of operation from Aug 2013 – Jan 14, 99 ACTG as Commander from 25 Jan 14 – 20 Jan 15, 75 Strike Group (75 STG) as Commander from 20 Jan 15 – 16 Feb 16, Air Component Commander of operation ZAMAN LAFIYA / LAFIYA DOLE (North East operation) from 13 Feb 15 – 16 Feb 16, doubled as Acting Deputy Theater Commander (Air Ops) for operation LAFIYA DOLE from 4 Jan 16 – 16 Feb 16, Director of Policy (DOPOL) at HQ NAF, Abuja from 16 Feb – May 27 and Director of Operations (DOO) at HQ NAF, Abuja from 27 May – 6 Sep 16, Director of Training (DOT) at HQ NAF, Abuja from 6 Sep 16 – 22 Dec 16 and Director of Operations (DOO) at HQ NAF from 22 Dec 16 – 29 Jan 18. He is presently the Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command (TAC).
He is a fighter pilot and has participated in various operations such as: Draw Down of AFISMA operation in Mali from Aug 2013 – Jan 14, operation ZAMAN LAFIYA from 20 Feb – 19 Jul 15 and operation LAFIYA DOLE (North East operations) from 19 Jul 15 – 16 Feb 16. His decorations include: Forces Service Star (FSS), Meritorious Service Star (MSS), Distinguished Service Star (DSS), General Service Medal (GSM), River Benue Star (RBS), Passed Staff College (psc) and Fellow National Defence University (FNDU) China.
AVM Amao is happily married to Mrs Elizabeth Olubunmi Amao and they are blessed with 3 lovely boys. His Hobbies include: reading, dancing, travelling, playing volley ball and golf as well as fish farming.