Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Kathleen FitzGibbon hosted Nevada-based Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence on June 15 to inaugurate SNC’s office in Abuja. SNC is a recognized U.S. defense contractor and the first to establish a permanent presence in Nigeria. Guests included members of Nigerian armed forces, the Ministry of Defense, National Assembly, and other government officials to mark a substantial step taken by the company.
The establishment of a permanent presence in Nigeria build upon the delivery of the A-29 Super Tucanos. The aerospace firm modified 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack combat aircraft delivered to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in July 2021. SNC outfitted these U.S.-made Embraer aircraft with equipment necessary to counter Boko Haram and ISIS West Africa. At the time the deal was completed, it was the largest ever Foreign Military Sale in Sub-Saharan Africa, valued at $497 million. SNC remains engaged with NAF with ongoing technical and maintenance support for NAF.
DCM FitzGibbon congratulated SNC for the dedication it showed to Nigeria, both through its recently established presence and existing programs in the country. She reassured those present of the U.S. government’s dedication to security in Nigeria.
“For decades, our countries have maintained a strong and mutually beneficial security partnership. The A-29 program is symbolic of this partnership to strengthen civilian protection.”
DCM FitzGibbon also applauded the A-29 program, describing the effort as a “total package approach” to military sales. She recognized the development of a new Nigerian military doctrine, and specifically highlighted the efforts of SNC and the U.S. Mission to Nigeria to train NAF on laws of armed conflict and human rights as they employ the advanced weapons systems such as the Super Tucanos. “We are proud of the what SNC and the A-29s have done so far in advancing our cooperative security relationship, and applaud the partnership that they symbolize,”
SNC Senior Vice President Ed Topps was on hand to represent the company, stating, “SNC is proud to help improve the security of the Nigerian people through the A-29 Super Tucano program. The airplane is performing above expectations, thanks to the professionalism of NAF pilots and maintainers. We hope Nigeria can increase operational effectiveness by adding another squadron of A-29 aircraft as quickly as possible.”