- The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Tuesday, October 15 recorded historic feats
- The NAF winged its first female fighter pilot, first female helicopter pilot and first female Air Warrant Officer.
- An elated minister for women affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen was the guest of honour at the historic event
History was made on Tuesday, October 15 as the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) winged the first-ever Nigerian female fighter pilot, Flying Officer Kafayat Sanni and the first-ever Nigerian female combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile.
The duo were part of 13 NAF pilots who recently completed their flying training abroad and qualified for the award of the NAF prestigious wing.
The newly-promoted first female Air Warrant Officer, Grace Garba was also decorated with her new rank.
An elated minister for women affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen was the guest of honour at the historic event.
“We are indeed proud of the milestones reached by the NAF and the achievements of the Chief of the Air Staff.
“I am aware that with this winging ceremony, the Nigerian Air Force would have winged a total of over 110 pilots since the inception of his administration,” the minister said.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the event is a milestone in the history of the NAF.
He said: “I am particularly happy because out of the 13 pilots to be winged are two female Regular Combatant officers. They are not only female officers but outstanding aviators.
“While one of the two pilots is the first female fighter pilot in the 55 years history of the NAF, the second one is the first female combat helicopter pilot.’’
He stated that as of today, the NAF has trained a total of 67 instructor pilots since 2015.
He informed that with the lastest winging, the NAF would have winged a total of 101 pilots within the same period.
“I am confident that the NAF and indeed Nigeria will soon be reaping the benefits that these pilots would undoubtedly add to our operations,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, as Nigeria continues its quest to route out criminal elements within its borders, three J70 fighter aircraft would soon be added into the inventory of the NAF to boost its operations.
This was disclosed by the Pakistani Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, during a visit to the headquarters of the NAF in Abuja on Monday, October 14.
The Pakistani air chief described the JF 70 as a battle-hardened aircraft, adding that it was jointly produced by Pakistan and China.
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