Dreaming of Joining the Nigeria Airforce? 10 Must Know Facts

Nigerian Airforce

Each year thousands of candidates apply for a coveted place on the recruitment scheme of the Nigeria Airforce. Competition is fierce and if you are thinking of making an application, you will need to know the airforce inside out and from top to bottom. Check out our list below of the 10 facts that every applicant to the Nigeria Airforce should know.

1. Humble Origins

The plan to set up a Nigeria Airforce was first conceived in 1961 following Nigeria’s participation in peacekeeping operations in Tanzania and Congo. During these peacekeeping operations, the Nigerian army units had to be airlifted in and out of the battlefield by foreign aircraft. Shortly following the peacekeeping operations, the government in Lagos realised the need for an airforce and the first batch of cadets were enlisted in 1962 to train with the Ethiopian Airforce.

2. British Influence 

The Nigeria Airforce has been heavily influenced by its British counterpart, the Royal Air Force (RAF). The badge of Nigeria’s Airforce was modelled on the RAF badge and features the same outstretched eagle. Likewise, the rank system used in Nigeria’s airforce was modeled on the RAF system and titles such as flight lieutenant, squadron leader and wing commander are common to both air forces.

3. State of the Art Fighter Jets 

The Nigeria Airforce’s main attack force is a fleet of 15 Chengdu F-7 fighter jets made by China which Nigeria purchased for an estimated quarter of a million US dollars in 2005. These Chengdu F-7 fighter jets replaced the existing fleet of MiG 21 aircraft which had been in active service since the 1970s.

4. Female Fighter Pilots 

History was made on 9 December 2011 when Blessing Liman became the first female fighter pilot in the Nigeria Airforce. Liman’s appointment came off the back of a directive from President Goodluck Jonathan that the Nigerian military should aim to include more women within its ranks. Liman, along with the other cadets who received their wings at the same time, underwent a rigorous training programme which cost billions of Naira and involved training abroad in countries including the UK, US and Greece.

5. Moments of Sadness 

One of the most heart breaking moments in the history of the Nigeria Airforce came on 26 September 1992 when a Lockheed C-130H Hercules (serial number 911) crashed following take off from Lagos. Three of the engines failed and 158 people on board were killed including several civilians from Ghana and Uganda.

6. Taking on Boko Haram

There was much confusion in September 2014 when a Nigeria Airforce fighter jet went missing in Adamawa State and was not found. Shortly afterwards a video was released by Boko Haram in which a man appears to kneel besides a Boko Haram fighter and states in English that he is the missing pilot. The man is then brutally beheaded. The Nigerian Airforce then went on to deny that the man in the video was the missing pilot. Until today, the fate of the missing fighter jet and its crew are still unknown.

7. Peacekeeping Missions

The Nigeria Airforce has been praised widely for its participation in various peacekeeping missions around the world including in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, Burundi, Sudan, South Sudan and most recently in Mali.

8. Amazing But True 

Colonel Gerhard Gahtz was the first Chief of Air Staff of the Nigeria Airforce and (as the name would suggest…) was not Nigerian but rather German. Kahtz was sent to Nigeria as part of an agreement struck between Nigeria and Germany to build the country’s airforce from scratch in 1963. Believe it or not but Gahtz was a Luftwaffe pilot during the Second World War and was even decorated with the Iron Cross for his devotion and courage to duty.

9. Beefing Up 

The chief of the Nigeria Airforce, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, announced during celebrations for the 50 year anniversary of the Nigeria Airforce in April 2014 that Nigeria is looking to purchase additional fighter jets. However, it remains to be seen which fighter jets will be purchased and when. Watch this space.

10. How to Apply to the Nigerian Airforce

If you want to apply for a position as an airman or airwoman in the Nigeria Airforce, you will have to meet the strict requirements imposed on candidates. During the 2014 recruitment exercise, the Nigeria Airforce made clear that candidates over the age of 24 would not be accepted. Even more striking was that male applicants and female applicants were required to be no less than 1.68 meters and 1.65 meters tall respectively. In other words, shorties need not apply!

Did you know? The Nigeria Airforce has around ten thousand personnel and two hundred and sixty airplanes in total. ­­


  1. Gen. Razark Bello

    June 5, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Nigerian Air force 2015 Recruitment is ongoing, If you are interested in The Nigerian Air Force Recruitment’s 73 and you need help to become Army, Air Force, Navy Immigration and Custom. call General Razark Bello on ( 08103918045 ) for help.

    • Uzor onyekachi chinonso

      June 8, 2015 at 10:06 pm

      Please sir i got the form for 2015 recruitment and i dont have any information abt the examination date….please it is my wish that you will me

      • Nigeria Share Team

        July 28, 2015 at 10:19 am

        Hi Uzor – please see our page on applying to the Nigerian airforce for more information on the process.

        • njaga iheanachor Odiba

          March 29, 2016 at 7:02 pm

          I applied for the 2016 air force form please I need to be updated 08066760861

    • Chinyere Anthony

      February 23, 2017 at 2:30 am

      Helo Sir,I’m about to write the 2017 airmen and airwomen.
      Please I need guild.

  2. Sule Comfort Ugbede

    January 2, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Greetins Sir. In the 2014 recruitment i applied & was shortlisted for the screening excercise at Port Harcourt. Unfortunately, i was screend out because of my o’level result. Without daulth, i sat for the examinations & to God be the glory, i made it. The examination was on when the 2015 online application was equally on. To this, i was unable to apply . Now, am with an excellent o’level result and the Nigerian Certificate in Education in the area of Economics/ Geography as my field of study. I was told that the 2015 applicants shall resume tomorrow dated 3/1/2016 as batch A while 10/7/2016 batch B will resume as well. For the sake of God, if u are in place of help to me the livin God i serve will be of help to u too. Happy new year.

  3. Saket

    February 1, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Pls am ND in banking and finance can I apply

  4. Daniel

    February 7, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Good day sir I just want to know when the recruitment form for 2016 we be out

  5. John Okon

    March 10, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Hy, When will d exam for 2016 applicant be?. Pls kindly send the reply to me via my email. Thanks.

  6. iheanachor

    March 29, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    pls I have apply for the form with my good result and other credentials so pls any place my help will come from I promised to be humble and loyal thanks iheanachor 08066760861

  7. Saturday peace

    April 12, 2016 at 9:58 am

    God bless you sir,i have been shoot list please i need help to be there God bless you sir and the God of heaven will promote you as you help me in jesus name amen.my center is in port harcourt airforce base.

  8. Hallie

    July 12, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    We’ve arivred at the end of the line and I have what I need!

  9. Robert Peter

    August 12, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    pls sir, I wnt to know wen 2017 recruitment form will b out

  10. Odom Wisdom

    February 1, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Pls sir, I want to know when 2017 recruitment examination will hold.

    • Chinyere Anthony

      February 23, 2017 at 2:35 am

      The exam is today

  11. Nnamdi moses

    February 5, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Good morning sir, my name is nnamdi moses i am really interested to join Nigeria Airforce and how do i apply for it.

  12. Avembe Mechivir Rejoice

    February 16, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    My name is Avembe Mechivir Rejoice, I have applied for the NAF 2017 pls I need help and the date for the exam. Air Force Base Makurdi.

  13. Monday Luke Okewu

    February 17, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Good day sir, my names are Monday Luke Okewu am from Kogi state, and I want to apply for this year air force. pls and pls I really really need ur help to Get it. tnx in anticipation.

  14. Dana bitrus

    February 17, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Please sir i need help…my centre is in lagos at ikeja….08066582326

  15. Attah u.victor

    February 21, 2017 at 9:18 am

    hello sir am victor uwem Attah I applied for NAF 2017,pls when is the screening starting,and also the exams pls keep me informed.thanks

  16. Unor charles

    March 1, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Wen will they start d aptitude test exam,4 NAF 2017.

  17. banjoko Timothy

    March 11, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    I applied for the form
    airforce 2017 and I haven’t received any text to go fobthr screening should I go like that…… 07086724395

  18. seun

    March 28, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Pls when will the air- force form be out again

  19. Emmanuel igwe

    May 10, 2017 at 7:25 am

    I just finished my west african state exam and would like to apply sir.

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