Have you ever wondered who heads the Nigerian Air Force and what they actually do? As Chief of Air Staff, the highest ranks of the Nigerian Air Force have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders.
The Chief of Air Staff is appointed by the President of Nigeria and heads the Air Force Council, which formulates policy for the Air Force. Read on to learn more about Nigeria’s current Chief of Air Staff.
The Roles and Responsibilities of the Chief of Air Staff Nigeria
As the Chief of Air Staff in Nigeria, you have immense responsibilities to the Nigerian Air Force and the nation. Your primary role is to organize, command and administer the Air Force. This includes:
-Overseeing all operational activities, exercises and deployments of the Air Force. You direct the planning and execution of missions to defend Nigeria’s airspace and support ground forces.
-Managing the administrative functions of the Air Force like logistics, training, personnel, finance, maintenance, etc. You ensure the welfare and discipline of all Air Force personnel.
-You make recommendations on improving the Air Force’s capabilities and budget.
-Liaising with foreign air forces and defense organizations to facilitate cooperation and partnerships. This includes aircraft acquisition, training assistance and knowledge exchange programs.
The Chief of Air Staff oversees all NAF operations and ensures the force is prepared to defend Nigeria’s airspace and national interests. Under the Chief’s leadership, the NAF continues to acquire new aircraft and improve its capabilities to counter security threats and safeguard Nigeria’s future.
Chief of Air Staff Nigeria
So, Who is Nigeria’s Chief of Air Staff? The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) is the Nigerian Air Force’s professional commander and the highest-ranked military official. The position is frequently held by the highest senior commissioned officer. Colonel Gerhard Kahtz of the German Air Force was the first to hold the position, which was established in 1963. The current Chief of Air Staff is Air Vice Marshal Hassan Abubakar, who took office in June 2023. The Chief of Air Staff oversees the administration and operation of the Air Force.
To become the Chief of Air Staff, officers must have extensive experience; the Chief of Air Staff is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Minister of Defense and National Defense Council.
The Chief of Air Staff works closely with the other branches of the armed forces, including the Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Naval Staff. Together, they form the Armed Forces Council, which advises the President on defense matters.
Biography of Air Vice Marshal Hassan Abubakar
Air Vice Marshal Hassan Abubakar is a distinguished officer who has made significant contributions to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF). With a career spanning over three decades, he has demonstrated exemplary leadership and expertise in various roles within the Air Force.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has appointed Hassan Abubakar as the new Air Vice Marshal to replace Isiaka Amao, who has served as Chief of Air Staff since 2021. Abubakar was born on the 11th of September, 1970, in Shanono local government area in Kano State, Nigeria.
Mr Abubakar joined the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) on the 19th of September 1992 as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), regular course 39 and was commissioned Pilot Officer.
Air Vice Marshal Abubakar has held several key positions within the NAF, showcasing his leadership abilities and commitment to excellence.
Mr Abubakar was the Chief of Standards and Operations at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) headquarters before being appointed as the 22nd Nigeria Chief of Air Staff. He graduated from the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Hassan Abubakar also completed Basic Flying Training Courses at the 301 Flying Training School Kaduna, as well as Basic and Advance Airborne Courses at the Nigerian Army Infantry Center and School Jaji, as well as a Company Amphibious Operations Course at the Nigerian Army Infantry Center and School in Calabar, and Junior and Senior Command and Staff Courses at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji.
He also attended the Nasser Higher Military Academy in Cairo, Egypt, for a National Defense Course. He earned a Master’s Degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.
Mr Abubakar worked as the Admin Officer, 16 Engineering Wing, at NAF Makurdi’s 1 Engineering Group in Benue State. He was the Officer Commanding Admin Services Flight/Group Public Relations Officer with the 97 Special Operations Group of the Nigerian Air Force in Port Harcourt. Similarly, he served as Officer Commanding Yellow Squadron and Admin Officer Primary Flying Training Wing – 301 FTS NAF Kaduna at Air Force Military School Jos.
Hassan Abubakar was a Team Leader at MILOB Team Site 615 Mahagi (Ituri Brigade) MONUC and Officer Commanding ‘B’ Squadron (Do 228) – 81 Air Maritime Group NAF Benin. Other positions he has held include Aviation Planning Officer, MONUC Air Operations Kinshasa, DRC; Commanding Officer Base Services Wing 81 Air Maritime Group Nigerian Air Force Benin; Operations Officer Operational Conversion Unit, 88 Military Airlift Group, Nigerian Air Force, Lagos; Operations Officer, 88 Military Airlift Group, Ikeja, Lagos; Group Safety Officer, 88 Military Airlift Group, Ikeja, Lagos; Fleet Safety Officer, 88 Military Airlift Group, Ikeja.
Mr Hassan Abubakar served as Chief of Staff for Mobility Command, Director of Policy for the National Air Force, Director of Operations for the National Air Force, and Air Officer Commanding Logistics Command. He has received various distinctions and decorations, including the Distinguished Service Star, Passed Staff Course (psc), Fellow Defence College, and others.
Throughout his career, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar has received numerous accolades and commendations for his outstanding service. His commitment to duty, professionalism, and strategic thinking have earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and superiors alike.
As a visionary leader, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar is dedicated to advancing the NAF’s mission of safeguarding Nigeria’s airspace and national interests. His strong leadership qualities, combined with his deep knowledge of aviation, make him an invaluable asset to the Air Force and the nation as a whole.
In conclusion, Air Vice Marshal Hassan Abubakar’s impressive career trajectory and unwavering commitment to the Nigerian Air Force exemplify his dedication to protecting the nation’s airspace and ensuring its security. His extensive experience, leadership skills, and passion for aviation contribute significantly to the continued growth and success of the NAF.
List of all 22 Chief of Air Staffs in Nigeria With the Years They Took and Left Office
The position of Chief of Air Staff in Nigeria was established in 1963. Since then, there have been 22 Chief of Air StaffsStaffs that have led the Nigerian Air Force.
- Colonel Gerhard Kahtz (born in 1922) 5th of May, 1963 – 11th of November, 1965.
- Colonel Wolfgang Thimmig (Born 1912–1976) 24th of November, 1965 – 19th of January, 1966.
- Lieutenant Colonel George T. Kurubo (Born 1934–2000) 19th of January, 1966 – 5th of August, 1967.
- Colonel Shittu Alao (Born 1937–1969) 5th of August 1967 – 15th October 1969.
- Brigadier Emmanuel E Ikwue (born 1940) 18th of December, 1969 – 29th of July, 1975.
- Air Vice-Marshal John Nmadu Yisa-Doko (born 1942-2012) 29th of July, 1975 – 14th of April, 1980.
- Air Vice-Marshal Abdullahi Dominic Bello (born 1942) 15th of April, 1980 – 31st of December, 1983.
- Air Marshal Ibrahim Mahmud Alfa (1946–2000) 1st of January, 1984 – 1st of January, 1990.
- Air Vice-Marshal Nuraini Yussuff (1942-2006) 1st of January, 1990 – 1st of February, 1992.
- Air Marshal Akin Dada 1st of February, 1992 – 17th of September, 1992.
- Air Vice-Marshal Femi John Femi (born 1945) 17th of September, 1992 – 30th of March, 1996.
- Air Marshal Nsikak-Abasi Essien Eduok (1947-2001) 30th of March, 1996 – 29th of May, 1999.
- Air Marshal Isaac Mohammed Alfa (born 1950) 29 May 1999 – 24th of April 2001.
- Air Marshal Jonah Wuyep (born 1948) 24th of April, 2001 – 1st of June, 2006.
- Air Marshal Paul Dike (Born 1950) 1st of June, 2006 – 20th of August, 2008.
- Air Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin (born 1955), 20th of August, 2008 – 8th of September, 2010.
- Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar (Born 1955), 19th of September, 2010 – 4th of October, 2012.
- Air Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh (1957-2018) 4th of October 2012 – 20th of January 2014.
- Air Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu (born 1958) 20th of January, 2014 – 21st of July, 2015.
- Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (born 1960) 21st of July, 2015 – 29th of January, 2021.
- Air Marshal
- Isiaka Oladayo Amao
- (born 1965) 29th of January 2021 – 22nd of June 2023.
- Air Vice Marshal
- Hassan Abubakar
- (born 1970) incumbent 22nd of June, 2023.
So there you have it, a quick overview of the head of the Nigerian Air Force. The Chief of Air Staff oversees thousands of personnel and coordinates Nigeria’s military defense through air operations. It’s no small task, but with the right leadership, the Nigerian Air Force can continue modernizing and strengthening its capabilities. The next time you see a Nigerian Air Force jet flying by or read about them in the news, you’ll have a better sense of the organization behind it and the leader at the helm. Pretty interesting stuff for such an important yet often overlooked branch of Nigeria’s armed forces.