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NAF wings first female fighter pilot

Four student pilots are being processed for Combat helicopter pilots training at the United States Army Aviation, Fort Rucker, and another 10 student pilots have been processed for Military-Style Rotary Wing Pilot Training at Cobham Aviation Services in the United Kingdom. Photo: Chukwuma Agbanusi (Radio Nigeria).

The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) on Tuesday winged the first female fighter pilot, Flying Officer Kafayat Sanni and twelve others in a colourful ceremony at the NAF Headquarters in Abuja.

Also decorated at the event was the first female Air Warrant Officer (AWO), Grace Garuba.

The winging serves as the formal induction of the officers as Pilots into the Nigerian Air Force.

The first time in the 55 years history of the Nigerian Air Force, decorated two female pilots, Kafayat Sanni and Tolulope Arotile as the fighter pilot and helicopter pilot, respectively.

The NAF Chief of Training and Operations, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao said “These new pilots would no doubt boost the pilot manning needs of the Service as their deployment to the various NAF platforms would enhance the fulfilment of the constitutional roles of the Nigerian Air Force especially in the ongoing operations in the North East and North West”.

“The 13 pilots to be winged today comprise 12 helicopters and one fixed-wing Pilot. The first-ever female fighter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force was trained at the United States Air Force under the prestigious Aviation Leadership Programme from 31 Jan 18 to 16 Aug 19, he said.

AVM Amao explained that a total number of 22,841 personnel have been trained in different specialities home and abroad in the last four years.

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, described the two female pilots Flying Officers Kafayat Sanni and Tolulope Arotile as outstanding aviators.

He said the NAF was winging the first female fighter pilot since its formation 55 years ago.

According to him, “It is common knowledge that of all resources available to a leader or manager, the human resource is the most important.

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