On Wednesday, a Nigerian Air Force combat helicopter (NAF Mi-35M) providing air support to troops of the 145 Battalion in Damasak, Borno State, crashed, killing all crew members on board.
The victims who lost their lives while battling the Boko Haram insurgents include; Flight Lieutenant Perowei Jacob, the pilot in command; Flight Lieutenant Kaltho Kilyofas, the co-pilot; Sergeant Auwal Ibrahim, a flight technician; Lance Corporal Adamu Nura, a gunner; and Aircraft Man Meshack Ishmael, also a gunner.
Confirming the death of the soldiers, NAF in a statement through the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said that the remains of the deceased personnel had been recovered and deposited in a morgue in Maiduguri, the state capital.
“These gallant fallen heroes made the supreme sacrifice in the service of our fatherland, for which the NAF, and indeed the entire nation, owe them an unending debt of gratitude. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, commiserates with the families,” Air Comm. Daramola said.
President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said; “the President mourns Flight Lieutenant Perowei Jacob (Pilot in Command); Flight Lieutenant Kaltho Paul Kilyofas (Co-Pilot); Sergeant Auwal Ibrahim (Flight Technician); Lance Corporal Adamu Nura (Gunner); and Aircraftman Meshack Ishmael (Gunner), who died in the mishap.”
Buhari condoled with the Nigerian Air Force and the families of the 5 personnels who heroically lost their lives in the incident.