History of the Nigerian Air Force

The idea of establishing an air force for Nigeria was first mooted in 1961 after the nation’s participation in peace-keeping operations in Congo and Tanganyika (now Tanzania). During these peace-keeping operations, foreign air forces aircraft were employed to airlift the Nigerian Army Regiment to and from the theatres of operation. The Nigerian Government at the time, no doubt, recognized the urgent need to set up an air force actively supported by modern facilities to provide a full complement of forces to enhance the nation’s military posture. Early in 1962, the Government agreed in principle that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) be established.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is the air branch of the Nigerian Armed Forces. It is one of the largest in Africa, consisting of about 10,000 personnel and aircraft including 12 Chinese Chengdu F-7s, and 11 Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jets, 12 Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano, armed helicopters, and military transport aircraft.

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History

It was in 1962 that the drive for the required personnel for the planned air force started. Simultaneous with this development, Government was in dialogue with some friendly nations on the possibility of training Nigerian Air Force personnel in various specialist fields.

The first batch of 10 cadets was enlisted in 1962 to undergo training with the Ethiopian Air Force. The second set of 16 cadets was enlisted in February 1963 to undergo training with the Royal Canadian Air Force while six cadets were sent to the Indian Air Force. The stage was thus set for the training of its personnel in the country. Consequently, several countries were approached but the lot fell on the German Air Force to provide technical assistance for the local training of NAF personnel and this materialized in 1963

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It was in 1962 that the drive for the required personnel for the planned air force started. Simultaneous with this development, Government was in dialogue with some friendly nations on the possibility of training Nigerian Air Force personnel in various specialist fields.

The first batch of 10 cadets was enlisted in 1962 to undergo training with the Ethiopian Air Force. The second set of 16 cadets was enlisted in February 1963 to undergo training with the Royal Canadian Air Force while six cadets were sent to the Indian Air Force. The stage was thus set for the training of its personnel in the country. Consequently, several countries were approached but the lot fell on the German Air Force to provide technical assistance for the local training of NAF personnel and this materialized in 1963.

Author: BF

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