The Mission was conducted on the 28th May 2020 by Flying Officers Oluwabunmi Ijelu and Genevieve Nwaogwugwu as Captain and Co-Pilot, respectively, with Sergeant Njoku Patience as the Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) mission operator and Lance Corporal Shawulu Godiya as the onboard technician. They used the Beechcraft KingAir ISR aircraft to conduct the mission.
Air Commodore Ibikule Daramola who is the Director of Public Relations and Information of the Nigerian Air Force made this known in Abuja on Tuesday. He also pointed out that Flying Officers Oluwabunmi Ijelu is the first female officer to attain the position of Captain onboard a NAF aircraft.
He had this to say,”The aircraft was also marshalled by a female Marshaller, Aircraft woman David Precious. The mission, which was preceded by the customary pre-flight briefing, originated from the 307 Executive Airlift Group (307 EAG), at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport and covered selected areas of interest in Niger State and its environs, where the intelligence that would support NAF air interdiction missions, as well as the operations of ground forces, was gathered”
Air Commodore Francis Edosa who is the Commander of 307 EAG commended the crew for the successful completion of the mission as he welcomed them back. He also acknowledged the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar for providing the opportunity to incorporate more equality in the discharge of duties by both female and male NAF officers.
Air Commodore Francis said, “Within the past 4 and half years of the current NAF leadership, there has been a surge in the involvement of female personnel in areas that were previously the preserve of men. Five female pilots have been winged within the period, bringing the total number of female pilots in the NAF to 7. Many other female officers and airwomen are also excelling in their various fields of specialization including Regiment and Special Forces, Aircraft/Armament Engineers and Technicians as well as Air Traffic Controllers, amongst others.
“The NAF’s objective in this regard is to maximize all of the potentials of Nigeria’s vast human resource pool, male and female, to ensure the effective, efficient and timely employment of Air Power in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives.”