Air Force decorates Female Combatant Pilots for the first time in 55 years

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The Nigerian Air Force has decorated Kafayat Sanni and Tolulope Arotile as the first female fighter pilot and first female helicopter pilot, respectively.

The two flying officers who just completed their training courses in the US and South Africa, were among the 13 officers decorated at a ceremony on Tuesday.

Speaking at the event, Sadique Abubakar, chief of air staff said the development marked “another milestone” in the 55-year history of the force.

“I am particularly happy because out of the 13 pilots to be winged are two female regular combatant officers,” he said.

“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.

“While the second graduated from Starlite International Training Academy. They both performed excellently well during their trainings.”
He said by their records, they have trained a total of 67 instructors.