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Nigerian Air Force wings First Female Fighter, Combat Helicopter Pilots, Decorates First Female Air Warrant Officer

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The Nigerian Air Force on Tuesday in Abuja winged its first female fighter pilot, first female helicopter pilot and decorated its first female Air Warrant Officer.

The first female fighter (combatant) pilot winged is Flying Officer Kafayat Sanni and first female helicopter pilot, Tolulope Arotile.

They were the two female pilots among the 13 that were winged.

The two female pilots had successfully completed their pilot training courses.

The newly-promoted first female Air Warrant Officer, Grace Garba, was also decorated with her new rank, becoming the first woman to be promoted to the highest rank in the Non-Commissioned Officers’ cadre.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the 13 pilots qualified for the award of the NAF prestigious Wing.

“Today indeed marks another milestone in the history of the NAF and I am gratified to be part of it,” said Abubakar.

“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. The first female fighter pilot trained at the United States Air Force following an excellent performance during her initial flying training course at 401 Flying Training School in Kaduna.

“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.

Pauline Tallen, the minister of Women Affairs, who graced the occasion, expressed happiness to be part of the event.

Tallen congratulated the female pilots and the Air Warrant Officer for the feat, saying that history had been made.





Photo Credit: @NigAirForce

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