On February 15, Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard and Brigadier General Thomas Tickner visited Kainji Air Base to inaugurate the final phase of the $38 million construction project for the A-29 Super Tucanos support facilities. They were joined by the Deputy Director of the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate, Ronald Taylor, and senior Nigerian Air Force officials.
The construction site will be the location of several critical facilities, including sun visors to house the A-29 Super Tucanos, assembly and ammunition storage areas, and an annex for the A-29 flight simulator. The North Atlantic Division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) oversees the construction of this infrastructure necessary for the operation and maintenance of the A-29 Super Tucanos and the munitions that accompany them.
During the site visit, Ambassador Leonard explained the importance of this first step: “We are not here today to celebrate a milestone in the construction of an air base, but a milestone in a partnership between our two countries. This monumental undertaking by the Nigerian Air Force through the A-29 Super Tucano program reflects the work ethic, ingenuity and dedication of the Nigerian people.
Brigadier General Thomas Tickner, USACE North Atlantic Division Commander, echoed Ambassador Leonard’s sentiment: “We are proud to partner with the United States Embassy, the U.S. Air Force and Nigerian Air Force to provide support facilities for their new fleet of A-29 Tucano Super Avions.These projects are an excellent example of USACE’s unique ability to apply its expertise in engineering in a way that builds partner capacity, strengthens strategic relationships and enhances Nigeria’s security capacity.
This construction project is part of the landmark US$500 million foreign military sale to Nigeria, which also includes the delivery of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, world-class munitions and training. This is the largest U.S. foreign military sales deal to 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 and prosperous nation.