The final phase of a $38 million construction project for the Nigerian Air Force’s Super Tucano aircraft at Kainji Air Base has been launched.
On February 15, United States Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Beth Leonard and Brigadier General Thomas Tickner of the United States Army Corps of Engineers visited Kainji Air Base to inaugurate the 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 U.S. Embassy said the construction site will house several critical facilities, including sun visors to house A-29 Super Tucanos, ammunition assembly and storage areas, and an annex for a flight simulator. flight A-29. The US Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District, part of the larger US Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division, oversees the construction of the infrastructure for the operation and maintenance of the Super Tucanos and accompanying ordnance.
During the site visit, Leonard explained the importance of this first ground breaking: “We are not only 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.
Tickner, commander of the US Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division, echoed Ambassador Leonard’s sentiment. “We are proud to partner with the United States Embassy, United States Air Force and Nigerian Air Force to provide support facilities for their new fleet of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft. . These projects are an excellent example of USACE’s unique ability to apply engineering expertise in ways that build partner capacity, strengthen strategic relationships, and enhance Nigeria’s security capability.
This construction project is part of the historic US$500 million foreign military sale to Nigeria, which also includes the delivery of 12 Super Tucano aircraft, ammunition and training. This is the largest U.S. foreign military sales deal in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Nigerian Air Force received its last six Super Tucanos on September 29, 2021. The first six were officially commissioned on August 31 in Abuja. All 12 Super Tucanos were manufactured by Embraer of Brazil and Sierra Nevada Corporation of the United States.
The Super Tucanos will assist the Nigerian Air Force in its fight against violent extremist organizations including the Islamic State West Africa Province.