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NAF wings first female fighter, helicopter pilots


The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Tuesday decorated its first female fighter pilot, Flying Officer Kafayat Sanni, and the first female helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile.

The Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen decorated them alongside another officer Grace Garba, the first female Air Warrant Officer, and 10 0ther officers at the NAF headquarters in Abuja.

Since the force was established on April 18, 1964, Garba is the first female Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCO) promoted to the highest rank in the Non-Commissioned Officers’ cadre.


Sanni and Arotile were admitted to the Nigerian Airforce on the 22nd of December 2012 and became an officer in the force on the 16th of September, 2017.

Sanni said her success was borne out of a passion for doing what has been stereotyped to be a man’s job.

While Arotile said being a military personnel has been her longtime ambition because she admires “the carriage and what the force stands for.”

The decoration of the officers will bring the total number of wing pilots to 105 in the past four years.


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