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Air Force of Zimbabwe ready to fight Covid-19

by Staff reporter
08 Apr 2020 at 07:47hrs | Views
THE Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) is ready to step in and assist in whatever way possible in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has hit many countries in the world, Air Marshal Elson Moyo has said.

The world is reeling from the effects of Covid-19, which started in Wuhan, China, but has spread across the globe, leaving in its trail thousands of deaths and many more people hospitalised.

Zimbabwe has not been spared, as so far 10 people have been diagnosed of the disease, with one of them dying. In an interview after presenting a lecture to students attending Zimbabwe National Defence University (ZNDU) Course Number 8, Air Marshal Moyo said the outbreak of coronavirus was likely to have an adverse effect on the country's economy, the region and globally.

"Company closures, reduction of revenue due to lack of economic activities, as well as the suspension of income generating projects will have a negative effect on the economy, as well as the progress of vision 2030," he said.

"The way we are understanding the current emergency in the country is that it is likely to spread all over the country. There will be a need for movement of specialised manpower and the required medicines.

"Our systems are always in place as is provided for in our mandate where we are expected to provide support to civil powers in the event of crisis. We are of the view that Covid-19 is certainly a national crisis and we should be on standby to play that role.

"The outbreak of the coronavirus poses a great threat to humankind. The AFZ intends to provide helicopters and other airlift to help deliver supplies across the country if the Government requires urgent support."

Air Marshal Moyo's lecture was on the strategic role of air power as a force multiplier: Implications for the Air Force of Zimbabwe 2030 Vision Debate. He described air power as one of the most significant elements in historical and contemporary studies, which also contributed to national security and was critical in projecting a nation's power.

Effectiveness of the unit, he said, was dependent on national technological literacy, resource availability, industrial base and the size of the standing air force itself.

"Air power is complemented by accurate weapon delivery, stealth, network centrality and space-based capabilities," said Air Marshal Moyo. "Any nation that aspires to enhance its influence beyond its frontiers ought to have an air force.

"The AFZ has drawn an ambitious plan envisaged to fit into the national vision of attaining middle class economy by 2030." Air Marshal Moyo said through proper application of air power, air forces could successfully and independently conduct and win wars without support from land and maritime forces.

The statement comes at a time when air power has gained pinnacle position in the way modern wars are fought and influence on the future security environment.

"The AFZ has been part and parcel of the evolving capabilities and operational concepts of air power," said Air Marshal Moyo.

"During "Operation Desert Storm" air power played a decisive role in crippling, degrading and eventually crushing the enemy.

"In the Zimbabwean context, air power played a critical role in the victories in the Mozambique and DRC war campaigns."

Modern military forces operated within a cycle which is intelligence focused, he said. Air Marshal Moyo said airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance were critical for providing information to decision makers across the chain of command.

Basic attributes like flexibility, reach and the ability to transcend natural barriers continued to make air power a potent tool.

Post-independence, the AFZ was employed to counter Renamo threats to Zimbabwe's economy, said Air Marshal Moyo. He said unresolved issues surrounding Renamo rebels in Mozambique continued to pose a security threat within the SADC region.

Source - the herald

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