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List of 20 The Nigerian Air Force Ranks And Their Symbols

JEROME MICHAEL EBRUPHIYO Tuesday, November 2, 2021 Millitary

 

Introduction

This article will provide information on the list of the 20 Nigerian Air Force ranks and their symbols and also provide answers to questions as regards to the Nigerian Air Force.

What is the Nigerian Air Force all-about?

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is the air branch of the Nigerian Armed Forces. It is the youngest branch of the Nigerian Armed Forces. It is one of the largest in Africa, consisting of about 15,000 personnel and aircraft including 8 Chinese Chengdu F-7s, 13 Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jets, 3 JF-17 Thunder Block II and 12 Super Tucano aircraft, 24 M-346 FAs on order, Helicopter gunships, armed attack drones, and military transport aircraft.

Brief History of the Nigerian Air force

Although an Air Force was originally proposed in 1958, many lawmakers preferred to rely on the United Kingdom for air defense. But during peacekeeping operations in Congo and Tanganyika, the Nigerian Army had no air transport of its own, and so in 1962, 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 Nigerian Air Force was formally established on 18 April 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 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. The NAF was formed with technical assistance from then West Germany (now Federal Republic of Germany following the re-unification of West and East Germany). The air force started life as a transport unit with the first aircrews trained in Canada, Ethiopia and India. The head of the German Air Force Assistance Group (GAFAG) was Colonel Gerhard Kahtz, and he became the first commander of the NAF. The nucleus of the NAF was thus established with the formation of the Nigerian Air Force headquarters at the Ministry of Defence. In July 1971, the International Institute for Strategic Studies estimated that NAF had 7,000 personnel and 32 combat aircraft: six Ilyushin Il-28 medium bombers, eight MiG-17s, eight Aero L-29 DelfĂ­n jet trainers, and 10 P-149D trainers. Other aircraft included six C-47s, 20 Do-27/28s, and eight Westland Whirlwind and Alouette II helicopters. During the 1970s, Nigeria bought Lockheed C-130 Hercules from the United States. Six were acquired at a total cost of $45 million. 25 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21MFs and six MiG-21UM were delivered in 1975 upon the advent of the Murtala-Obasanjo administration that replaced the regime of General Yakubu Gowon. Most of these aircraft were deployed, making the NAF one of the most formidable air forces in Africa during this period. The Nigerian Air Force is the air arm of the Nigerian Armed Forces. With a total of about 10,000 personnel, it is one of the largest in Africa. On December 9, 2011, the Nigerian Air Force commissioned its first female pilot, Blessing Liman, following a directive to the NAF hierarchy by former President Goodluck Jonathan, for the service to start offering flying opportunities to qualified Nigerian female citizens, especially since women had long been flying civil aviation aircraft in the country but did not get a chance to fly in the military. In March 2014, the Nigerian Government approached Pakistan for the purchase of joint Chinese-Pakistani made CAC/PAC JF-17 "Thunder" multi-role fighter aircraft. In December 2015, the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari presented a budget to the National Assembly that included N5bn for three JF-17 aircraft. On March 28, 2018, 'The Diplomat' reported Pakistan as confirming the sale of three JF-17 to Nigeria. In March 2020, NAF Chief of Air Staff announced the delivery schedule of three JF-17 Thunder to be effected in November 2020. It is understood that the Buhari administration will expand the fleet of JF-17 fighter aircraft upon an expression of satisfaction by NAF Generals, with the performance of the initial batch procured. In December 2017, NAF formally announced that the United States of America had agreed to sell the A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft to Nigeria after the deal had previously stalled. The success of this transaction is credit to the persistent negotiation and diplomatic skills of the Buhari administration. In November 2018, Sierra Nevada was officially awarded the contract for the 12 Super Tucano aircraft for the NAF with an estimated completion date by 2024. On January 2, 2019, one Mi-35M attack helicopter from the Nigerian Air Force helicopter squadron crashed in Damasak, Borno State while providing close-air support for troops of the 145 Battalion combating Boko Haram insurgents, killing all onboard. The Mi-35 in the fleet of NAF are top of the range models acquired in the life of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari that had also ordered several Mi-171 and Agusta 109 helicopters from both Mil Moscow Helicopters of Russia and Italy's Leonardo Aerospace for the service. On October 15, 2019, the NAF winged its first female combat fighter jet pilot Flight Lieutenant Kafayat Sanni and first female combat helicopter pilot Lieutenant Tolulope Arotile. They were amongst thirteen other pilots also winged on the same day. In April 2020, Embraer reported the completion of the first set of Super Tucano jets out of the 12 on order with an expected full delivery in 2021.

What Are the Roles of the Nigerian Air Force?

  • To fully compliment the military defence system of the Nigerian Armed Forces both in the air and on the ground
  • To ensure prompt mobility of personnel of the armed forces when needed
  • To closely support the ground and sea borne military operations in all phases and ensure the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • To give Nigeria the prestige of an independent Air Force which is greatly important in international affairs
  • To enforce and facilitate the enforcement of international laws, conventions. Practices and customs ascribed and approved by Nigeria in relation to aerial or space activities in the Nigerian airspace
  • To coordinate and enforce all national or international laws acceded or ascribed to by Nigeria
  • To de-lineate, demarcate and coordinate all aerial surveys and security zones of the Nigerian airspace

Nigerian Air Force Ranks And Their Symbols

The Nigerian Air Force has two cadres of personnel namely commissioned comprising 11 ranks and 9 non-commissioned ranks. All the ranks originated from the royal Air Force in Britain and are still used by British colony countries especially the Common Wealth Nations. They are also used to interpret ranks in the Air Forces of countries where English is not the official language. The following are the ranks of the Nigeria Air Force with their symbols in descending order of seniority.

Nigerian Air Force Ranks in Commissioned Cadre

  • Marshal of the Air Force

  • Marshal of the Air Force
    It is a five-star rank which happens to be the most senior rank in the Nigerian Air Force which has never been attained by any officer. It is the only rank that has a symbol completely different from any other rank. It is equivalent to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet in the Navy and Field Marshal in the Army
  • Air Chief Marshal (Air Chf Mshl or ACM)

  • Air Chief Marshal
    It is a four-star rank and the second highest rank in the Nigerian and other Air Forces in the world. The rank of Air Chief Marshal have been attained by Air Chief Marshal Peterin and immediate past Chief of Defence Staff Allex Barde. Both of them were former Chiefs of Defence Staff. It is equivalent to Admiral in the Navy and General in the Army
  • Air Marshal (AM)

  • Air Marshal
    This is a three-star Air Force rank. It is the highest rank ever attained in the countries Air Force so all past Chiefs of Air Staff and the present have this rank or lower as the highest. It is equivalent to the rank of Vice Admiral in the Navy and Lieutenant General in the Army
  • Air Vice Marshal (AVM)

  • Air Vice Marshal
    This is a two-star rank of the Air Force next to the Air Marshal rank. It is equivalent to the rank of Rear Admiral in the Navy and Major General in the Army
  • Air Commodore (Air Cdre)

  • Air Commodore
    This is a one-star rank and the most junior General rank of the Air Force next to Air Vice Marshal. It is equivalent to the rank of Commodore in the Navy and Brigadier General in the Army
  • Group Captain

  • Group Captain
    This is a senior commissioned rank next to Air Commodore. It is equivalent to the rank of Captain in the Navy and Colonel in the Army. It is equivalent to the rank of Captain in the Navy and Colonel in the Army
  • Wing Commander (Wg Cdr)

  • Wing Commander
    It is the rank next to the Group Captain. It is equivalent to Commander in the Navy and Lieutenant Colonel in the Army
  • Squadron Leader

  • Squadron Leader
    It is the rank next to Wing Commander. It is equivalent to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Navy and Major in the Army
  • Flight Lieutenat (Flt Lt)

  • Flight Lieutenat
    This is the is a Junior commissioned officer rank of the Air Force. Equivalent to Lieutenant in the Navy and Captain in the Army
  • Flying Officer (Fg Off)

  • Flying Officer
    This is a junior commissioned rank. It is the rank attained by Direct Short Service DSSC officers on commissioning. Equivalent to Sub-lieutenant in the Navy and Lieutenant in the Army
  • Pilot Officer (Pl Off)

Pilot Officer
This is the most junior commissioned officer rank. It is also the rank attained by newly commissioned regular cadets upon commissioning. Equivalent to Midshipman in the Navy and Second Lieutenant in the Army

Nigerian Air Force Ranks for Non-commissioned Cadre

  • Air Warrant Officer

  • Air Warrant Officer
    It is equivalent to Navy Warrant Officer and Army Warrant Officer
  • Master Warrant Officer

  • Master Warrant Officer
    It is equivalent in Navy and Army
  • Warrant Officer

  • Warrant Officer
    It is equivalent in Navy and Army
  • Pilot Sergeant

  • Pilot Sergeant
    It is equivalent to Petty Officer in the Navy and Staff Sergeant in the Army
  • Sergeant

  • Sergeant
    It is equivalent to Leading Seaman in the Navy and Sergeant in the Army
  • Corporal

  • Corporal
    It is equivalent to Able Seaman in the Navy and Corporal in the Army
  • Lance Corporal

  • Lance Corporal
    It is equivalent to Seaman in the Navy and Lance Corporal in the Army
  • Air Craftman/Woman
  • It is equivalent to Ordinary Seaman in the Navy and Private in the Army
  • Cadet
It is equivalent to Trainee in the Navy and Recruit in the Army

What rank will I be in the Air Force with a bachelor's degree?

When you join the Air Force with a college degree, you can enter as an officer and a leader. We'll provide you with training to develop the skills and character you need to become a world-class officer prepared to lead your fellow Airmen.

What rank is an Air Force pilot?

All pilots in the Air Force are officers. There are 10 officer grades (O-1 to O-10). The lowest officer grade outranks the highest enlisted grade (E-1 to E-9). Officer's typically wear their rank on the shoulders of their uniforms.

Who is the lowest rank in Air Force?

An enlisted member enters the Air Force as an Airman Basic. After completing basic training, the enlisted recruits advances to Airman First Class. The next notable advancement is to a Noncommissioned Officer. The highest rank attainable in the Air Force is the five-star General of the Air Force.

What rank is 3 star in Nigerian Army?

3 star in the Nigerian Army is Lieutenant General. The commissioned officer rank just below a full General (Four stars), and immediately above a Major-General (Two Stars).

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