Nigerian Air Force conducts Thunderbolt counter terrorist exercise

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has conducted its second counter terrorist exercise, Thunder Bolt, at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The primary objective of this exercise was to assess the readiness of the NAF to thwart any terrorist attack or hostage situation at any airport within the country.

During the exercise, NAF simulated a scenario that focused on hostage taking by a terrorist group and destroying air assets and other facilities.

The rescue operation was planned to be executed in two phases.

In Phase one, troops landed on top of the airport terminal building from a helicopter to access the building from the rooftop and deployed assault and sniper teams at different positions around the airport.

The Phase two involved terminating would-be terrorist reinforcement from gaining access to the airside. The troops ensured to stop external support from reaching the terrorists.

The exercise incorporated provision of reinforcement to Mobile Air Defence Team (MADT) by way of closed air support to tackle a situation where airport perimeter fence has been breached and the MADT is unable to effectively contain a large number of advancing terrorists.

Other agencies that participated in the exercise are Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) as well as Federal and State Emergency Management Agencies.

The first such exercise was held in Abuja at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on 7 September this year.

The NAF also has plans to conduct such exercises in all the major airports within the country.