KAINJI AIR FORCE BASE, Nigeria – Senior U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense officials joined Nigerian Air Force Air Vice Marshal IG Lubo, representing Nigeria’s Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, and other Nigerian partners to celebrate the completion of $38 million of improvements to the air base April 27.
The construction of the air base improvements is key to facilitating the operation and maintenance of the A-29 Super Tucano wing, and associated munitions, stationed here. The base improvements were delivered as part of a larger, historic $500 million U.S. foreign military sale to Nigeria, which also included the delivery of 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, precision munitions, and world-class training, including in air-to-ground integration to make airstrikes more accurate and thereby mitigate the risk of civilian harm.
U.S. Chargé d’Affaires for Nigeria David Greene, Director of the U.S. Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate Brig. Gen. Joel Safranek, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division Commander Col. John Lloyd, and other U.S. officials joined Amao and other Nigerian Air Force partners to celebrate the completion of the final phase of the construction program for A-29 Super Tucano support facilities.
“Since my arrival in Nigeria last year, I have closely tracked the progress of the A-29 program and am grateful, today, to celebrate the fruits of U.S.-Nigerian partnership and commitment,” stated Chargé d’Affaires Greene. “Nigeria’s A-29 program is the largest U.S. foreign military sales case to date to a country in Sub-Saharan Africa, an example of Nigeria’s leadership in being, as is the Nigerian Air Force’s motto, ‘willing, able, and ready’ to contribute to security and stability at home and around the region.”
The base improvements were delivered in two main phases, with the first phase completed in summer 2021 to allow for the safe delivery of the first A-29 aircraft, which now play a key role in Nigerian Air Force operations to combat violent extremist organizations, such as ISIS-West Africa and Boko Haram.
Crews are now finishing the second and final phase of air base improvement projects, which include improved base security, munitions storage and maintenance, aircraft hangars and aprons, and training facilities to ensure the continued successful operations of the new fighter wing.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District, which is part of the larger U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division, oversaw the construction of these projects, which are key to facilitating the operation and maintenance of the 12 A-29 Super Tucanos and their accompanying munitions.
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proudly supports our international partners like Nigeria by providing unique engineering expertise to bolster security capabilities, strengthen strategic relationships, and contribute to regional security,” Lloyd said. “Here at Kainji Air Base, it has been an absolute privilege to partner with the U.S. Embassy, U.S. Air Force, and the Nigerian Air Force to deliver these support facilities for their new fleet of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.”
The U.S. Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate is managing the overall $500 million foreign military sale as part of its larger mission of administering security assistance programs around the world.
“Today is a proud occasion, not only for the country of Nigeria and the Nigerian Air Force, but also for the United States of America, the United States Air Force, and the United States Army,” said Safranek. “These new capabilities will help address the growing security challenges in the region, and counter the significant impact and threats posed to the people of Nigeria. It proves that together, as Partner Nations, and Military Allied Partners, we can accomplish great things which, in the end, make the country of Nigeria and the world a safer place.”
This is the largest U.S. foreign military sales case in sub-Saharan Africa and demonstrates the strong partnership between the United States and Nigeria. The United States is committed to assisting Nigeria in its efforts to create a more peaceful, prosperous nation.