Operation Crocodile Smile: NAF deploys fighter aircraft in S’West, S’South

News by Abdulfatai Ayobami Ibrahim from Punch Newspapers Read the complete details here

Olaleye Aluko, Abuja

The Nigerian Air Force has deployed two attack helicopters in the ongoing military exercise, Operation Crocodile Smile II, in the South-West and South-South regions.

Our correspondent learnt that the aircraft, Agusta LUH and EC135 helicopters, would be joined later on with the Alpha Jets and the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platforms.

This was disclosed by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, in an exclusive interview with our correspondent on Friday.

Operation Crocodile Smile II was launched last Friday, October 13, in Lagos State by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. -Gen. Tukur Buratai, and would last for four weeks.

The exercise, which covers 2, 6 and 81 Divisions of the Army, had been threatened by groups, including the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, which claimed that the operation had a political objective to harass people in the regions.

The 81 Division on Tuesday announced that it arrested 40 suspects for various offences in Lagos and Ogun states.

The spokesperson for the 81 Division, Lt. -Col. Olaolu Daudu, who said in Lagos that the suspects included drug peddlers, cult members and car snatchers, noted that some of them had been handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

The NAF Spokesman, Adesanya, told our correspondent on Friday that the air force had also deployed fighter aircraft for the operation.

He said, “We have deployed air assets to the army operation. We deployed Agusta 109LUH helicopter and the ATR-42. At the appropriate time, the ISR platforms and the Alpha jet will be called in.”

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