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NAF Celebrates 2nd Female Helicopter Pilots, 11 Others

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On Tuesday, May 5, the Nigerian Air airforce decorated 12 new pilots.

The new pilots were trained in Nigeria and United States.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who spoke during the ceremony, said the event was remarkable because NAF now had a second female helicopter pilot.

Abubakar said the young pilots met the criteria for the award of the prestigious NAF flying wings.

“Indeed, this event marks another milestone in the history of the NAF and I must say that I am glad to be part of it.

“The 12 pilots being winged today had their flying training in Nigeria and abroad, and have completed the 9 months comprehensive training programme.

“I am happy that we have among the 12 pilots, the second-ever female helicopter pilot.

“As at today May 5, the NAF has successfully winged a total of 114 pilots since July, 2015,” he said.

According to Abubakar, NAF currently has a total of 26 student pilots undergoing or scheduled to begin basic flying training abroad. Out of these 26 Student Pilots are two female officers.

“Upon completion of their training, one would become the second ever fighter pilot in the NAF while the other would graduate as the first ever Qualified Flight Instructor in the 56 years history of the NAF.”

Abubakar said that NAF had also increased its capacity for in-country flying training.

He said that currently there were 39 student pilots undergoing various stages of training in NAF flying schools.

Abubakar urged the pilots to remain disciplined and constantly develop a balanced mix of critical thinking, leadership skills and the right attitude.

He told them to oblige to learning and pay attention to details so as to avoid errors as there was no room for errors in the sky.

“I, therefore, urge you to be ready to respond swiftly wherever and whenever you are called upon in the defence of our national sovereignty and interests,” he said.

Speaking to newsmen after the ceremony, Nwokoye said that flying should not be stereotyped as a man’s job, adding that a woman could also do what is seen or termed a man’s job.

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