The US Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard and US Army Corps of Engineers Brig. Gen. Thomas Tickner recently visited Kainji Air Force Base, to attend a groundbreaking ceremony on the last phase of the $38 million construction project for the A-29 Super Tucanos’ support facilities. The occasion was also attended by Deputy Director of the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate,Ronald Taylor,accompanied by senior Nigerian Air Force officers.
It was said that several key facilities, including sunshades, weapons assembly and storage rooms, and an annex for A-29 flight simulator, will be built on the building site.The construction of this required infrastructure for the operation and maintenance of the A-29 Super Tucanos and their corresponding munitions is being supervised by the US Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division, Europe District, which is part of the broader US Army Corps of Engineers.
During the occasion,Ambassador Leonard mentioned that the groundbreaking was more than just celebrating a step in the construction of Kainji Air Force Base but also appreciating the partnership that exists between Nigeria and the USA.The A-29 Super Tucano program, a project by the Nigerian Air Force, demonstrates the Nigerian people’s work ethic, resourcefulness, and dedication.
US Army Corps of Engineers, US Air Force, US Embassy and Nigerian Air Force Collaboration
The commander of the US Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division, Tickner, said that they were happy to work with the US Air Force,US Embassy and the Nigerian Air Force to provide support facilities for their new fleet of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.
It was said that the US was dedicated towards aiding Nigeria in its quest to become a more peaceful and a prosperous country. The record $500 million construction project is US overseas military sale to Nigeria, which involves world-class training, the deployment of 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft and munitions.This is the greatest US foreign military sales case in Sub-Saharan Africa, demonstrating the US-Nigeria alliance.
Reported in September 2020
Construction of facilities at Kainji Air Base commences
The construction of new facilities to support the anticipated 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), the air branch of the Nigerian Armed Forces, has commenced at the Kainji Air Base located in the western state of Niger at the southern end of Lake Kainji.
The project comprises the construction of a new 12 km chain-link perimeter fence, a munitions storage area including an observation tower and lighting, improvements to the two base entry control points, and the construction of a permanent arm/de-arm pad.
It also involves the renovation of an existing aircraft hangar and air traffic control tower, the configuration of a new simulator training room, and renovation of an aircraft parking apron as well as the conversion of an existing runway hammerhead into a temporary arm/de-arm location, retrofitting a parking apron to a tie-down and grounding area, and providing temporary structures for aircraft and secure storage.
The project enablers
The director of the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate Brigadier General Brian Bruckbauer said that this project represents his organization’s readiness to be a part of the modernization of Nigerian Air Force facilities and infrastructure.
“As a member of the Nigeria A-29 Foreign Military Sales Programme, and this being AFSAC’s first major construction project in sub-Saharan Africa, we are happy to be able to support the Nigerian people in improving their defensive capabilities and we look forward to building and strengthening this strategic partnership with the people of Nigeria.”
The construction work is expected to be completed before or in May 2024.