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All-female Nigerian Air Force Combat Support ISR Flight Crew Makes History

On May 28, 2020, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) performed Its First All-Female crew Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission using Beechcraft KingAir aircraft.

In a statement, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said the crew had Flying Officers Oluwabunmi Ijelu, the first female officer to become a captain on an aircraft and Genevieve Nwaogwugwu as Co-Pilot.

Other members of the crew were Sergeant Njoku Patience as the Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) mission operator and Lance Corporal Shawulu Godiya as the onboard technician.

“The aircraft was also marshalled by a female Marshaller, Aircraftwoman David Precious,” Daramola said.

He said the mission originated from the 307 Executive Airlift Group (307 EAG), at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport and covered selected areas of interest in Niger State and its environs, where intelligence that would support NAF air interdiction missions as well as the operations of ground forces was gathered.

In October, 2019, NAF commissioned two females, Kafayat Sanni and Tolulope Arotile, as the first female fighter aircraft pilot and first female helicopter pilot respectively.


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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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