The Commander of U.S. Africa Command, General Stephen Townsend has said the twelve A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft that Nigeria purchased from the United States will be delivered later this year.
Mr Townsend disclosed this in a statement after he rounded off a three-day West African visit with a stop in Nigeria, on Friday.
“As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability.
“Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year,” he said.
He said the U.S. Africa Command will do its part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy a more secure future they all deserve.
“Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, where they discussed regional security issues and expressed the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.
“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.
“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria”, the statement said.
Mr Townsend also met with senior military officials, including Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation. Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.
“Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest,” Mr Townsend said.
Also in the statement, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield from U.S. Mission to the United Nations said the United States has condemned the violent kidnapping of over 300 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, Nigeria.