Nigerian Air force: Ranks, History and Functions of the Nigerian Airforce

The aim of this post is to inform you about the Nigerian Air Force, its History, Ranks and Functions of the Nigerian Air Force.


History of the Nigerian Air Force

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is one of the Nigerian Military and the air arm of the Nigerian Armed Forces. It is also one of the largest air force in Africa, comprising of about 10,000 able bodied personnel with various aircraft like 12 Chinese Chengdu F-7s, and 11 Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jets, armed helicopters, and military transport aircraft.

The Nigerian Air Force was established formally on 18 March 1964 with the passage of the Air Force Act 1964 by the National Assembly. The Act stated that the “Nigerian Air Force shall be charged with the defence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by air, and to give effect thereto, the personnel shall be trained in such duties as in the air as well as on the ground”

Although the Air Force was originally proposed in 1958 (should not be confused with the year the Nigerian Air force was founded). It was in 1962 that the government began to recruit cadets for pilot training in various foreign countries, with the first ten being taught by the Egyptian Air Force.

The first commander of the Nigerian Airforce was Colonel Gerhard Kahtz,who was also the head of the German Air Force Assistance Group (GAFAG). The air force tasted its first combat by 13 March 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War.

Roles & Functions of the Nigerian Air force

  1. Air Defence
  2. Close Air support
  3. Air Interdiction
  4. Counter Air Operations
  5. Air Transport Operations
  6. Maritime Air Operations

Nigerian Air Force Rank structure

The NAF’s rank structure was derived from the British Royal Air Force’s rank structure, below are the ranks in the Nigerian Airforce in descending order of seniority

  • Marshal of the Air Force
  • Air Chief Marshal
  • Air Marshal
  • Air Vice Marshal
  • Air Commodore
  • Group Captain
  • Wing Commander
  • Squadron Leader
  • Flight Lieutenant
  • Flying Officer
  • Pilot Officer
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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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