The Reconnaissance Squadron is a highly specialized part of the Nigerian Air Force Regiment (who specifically and exhaustively train for deep reconnaissance and surveillance missions. It is a detachment of the NAF Tactical Air Command based in Makurdi. The Tactical Air Command is responsible for Nigeria’s air campaign against Boko Haram.
The Reconnaissance Squadron is divided into three components :
This platoon is dedicated to obtaining information about the battlefield for the commander. Their job us to check the terrain before the bulk of the army comes into the ground. This is usually done by infantry units that check the terrain for any tactical of strategic advantages, the civilians who live there if ( there are any) and other considerations that would benefit the army.
Force Recon units are trained for “Battlefield” reconnaissance. Force Recon is also trained for “Black Operations” (for example, covert enemy contact, direct action operations, etc.). Quite simply, Force Recon units not only can go beyond the battlefield, they can literally disappear deep into enemy territory, without communication and without backup support.
They can do this for unlimited periods of time, living off the land, and reappearing at their choosing. When they reappear, in addition to the firsthand on the ground intelligence they will have gathered, they would very often have done some serious damage to the enemy. Moreover, they would have done all of this without having been seen, and, quite likely, without anyone knowing they were there. Force Recon units are volunteers from infantry line units. They need a lot of stamina, common sense, initiative, ability to improvise, then know how to read maps and navigate by them.
Helicopter scout missions typically consisted of making visual reconnaissance of enemy positions with several scout helicopters, conduct general reconnaissance missions and aerial assessment of bomb damage.
This platoon consists of several Augusta Westland (AW101) helicopters, a platoon of between 60 and 100 troops.
Tactical Aerial Reconnaissance
The Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron is a detachment of the NAF 75 Strike Group (75 STG) YOLA. It is the Strike element of Nigeria’s reconnaissance squadron. Crews consists of High-Altitude Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance pilots for the ATR-42 Maritime Patrol Plane, Super King 350i ISR plane, and pilots and sensor operators for the CH-3 Rainbow attack drones , Aerostar UAV, Gulma Tactical UAV and the recently inducted Tsaigumi Tactical UAV.
The squadron’s outstanding record in decimating Boko Haram’s logistical infrastructure reflects the dedication and professionalism of the elite group of members of the squadron.