Nigerian Air Force Ranks and Salary: official information

Nigerian Air Force Ranks and Salary structure is less complex when compared with other Nigerian Armed Forces branch.

The Nigerian Air Force is the aerial branch of the military, it uses various aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles to achieve its mandate.

It is widely understood that the Nigerian Air Force is the largest and most modern in West Africa, it’s manpower alone has grown over the years to more than 30,000 men and equipped with over 300 aircrafts.

This article will help you properly understand the Nigerian Air Force Ranks and Salary structure for those seeking to get a career in the Air Force. You’ll also learn about the Nigerian Air Force ranks its commissioned and non-commissioned officers cadre.

Also, to apply for the ongoing recruitment into the Nigerian Air Force for this year, you can apply through the official website.

Overview of the Nigerian Air Force

This is a brief description of the Nigerian Air Force, as stated earlier, the Nigerian Air Force handles the aerial aspect of warfare in the Nigerian military. The Nigerian Air Force was founded more than 56 years ago on 18 April 1964 before the Nigerian Civil War.

Around that time, the Nigerian Armed Forces realized that it’s operations was largely ineffective because it lacked a proper aerial outfit especially during the past peacekeeping missions in Tanzania and Congo.

History of the Nigerian Air Force

Before the Nigerian Air Force was formally established, the Government in 1962 had already recruited personnel and began sending them for pilot training in several international Nations, the first ten Nigerian Air Force pilots were trained in Egypt. By the next year, another six cadets were sent to Canada for training, others to India.

Further down the years, more pilots were trained in Nigeria with the help of the now defunct West German Air Force, under the German Air Force Assistance Group (GAFAG) which was headed by Colonel Gerhard Kahtz, who later became the first commander of the Nigerian Air Force.

The newly formed Nigerian Air Force at the time acquired it’s first fighter jets from the Soviet Union, and much of it was used during the Nigerian Civil War.

The first aircrafts of the Nigerian Air Force were six MiG-17s for air defense and strike, two MiG-15s for training of pilots, later on, six Il-28 bombers, were delivered which were flown by Egyptian and Czech pilots.

Role of the Nigerian Air Force

Just like every other Air Forces globally, the Nigerian Air Force has its stipulated roles which they have been mandated by the Nigerian Constitution to uphold and fulfil.

While it is important for prospective Air Force cadets to know the Nigerian Air Force Ranks and Salary, it is also very essential to understand their roles and duties.

The Nigerian Air Force roles includes:

  • Protect and defend Nigeria from both from foreign or domestic threats.
  • To achieve the number 1, they’ll need to provide airborne support to the Nigerian Army and Navy during operations.
  • To provide comprehensive support to the civil authorities during national emergencies.
  • Provide logistics support in transporting men and materiel of the Armed Forces, Civil authorities, and the Government.
  • Earn hard power for diplomatic matters in the international community.

Nigerian Air Force Mission and Vision

To ensure the sovereignty of Nigeria’s aerial domain, by gaining and maintaining control of the airspace while retaining a credible capacity to support the government and civil authorities.

Operations of the Nigerian Air Force

Since it’s formation, the Nigerian Air Force has carried out several operations and peacekeeping missions all over the globe. And while searching for the Nigerian Air Force ranks and salary, its important to also know some of its operations.

Peacekeeping operations (PKO) are quite essential for the military so that they can hone their combat and diplomatic skills in an active war zone. Officers who are deployed on a peacekeeping operations are usually paid more.

Listed below are the engagements of the Nigerian Air Force;

  • Nigerian Civil War
  • Liberian Civil War
  • Sierra Leone Civil War
  • Niger Delta crises
  • Boko Haram/ Islamic State insurgency
  • Malian War
  • Gambia crises

Nigerian Air Force Command Structure

If you would like to know the Nigerian Air Force ranks and salary, it’s equally important to understand the command structure.

Currently, the Nigerian Air Force has one service Headquarters located in Abuja, 6 principal staff branches, 4 direct reporting units and 4 operational commands. The present Chief of the Air Staff is Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

The four operational commands are outlined below;

  1. NAF Tactical Air Command (TAC)
  2. NAF Mobility Command
  3. NAF Training Command
  4. NAF Logistics Command

The NAF Tactical Command: carries out, and interpreting the operational plan if the Nigerian Air Force. It’s headquarters is in Makurdi, Benue state.

NAF Mobility Command: it carries out essential transport duties for the Government, Nigerian Air Force, Army, and the Navy. It was formed in 2011, and it’s headquarters is in Yenegoa, Bayelsa state.

NAF Training Command: it mainly handles the training if cadets, ground support personnel, and technicians. It’s headquarters is in Kaduna.

NAF Logistics Command: it’s job is to acquire, and maintain NAF’s equipment for mission readiness state at minimum cost. It’s headquarters is in Ikeja, Lagos state.

Nigerian Air Force bases across the country

  • NAF Abuja operates from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
  • NAF Kaduna operates from the Old Kaduna Airport in Kaduna State
  • NAF Port Harcourt is located in Rivers State
  • NAF Benin is based in Edo State
  • NAF Maiduguri is located in Borno State
  • NAF Minna operates from the Minna Airport in Niger State.
  • NAF Makurdi operates from the Makurdi Airport in Benue State.
  • NAF Kano is located in Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano State
  • NAF Enugu is located in Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu State
  • NAF Jos is based in Plateau State
  • NAF Ipetu-Ijesha operates from Osun State
  • NAF Shasha is in Lagos State
  • NAF Kanji is in Niger State
  • NAF Katsina is located in Katsina State
  • NAF Yola is based in Adamawa State
  • NAF Mando is in Kaduna State
  • NAF Unguwan also in Kaduna State

Nigerian Air Force Ranks

Nigerian Air Force ranks is very similar to that of the Royal Air Force which it was derived from, and is divided into two distinct cadre this are;

  1. Commissioned Officers
  2. Non-commissioned Officers


Nigerian Air Force commissioned officers

Nigerian Air Force commissioned officers ranks are those who were enlisted through the Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA), the Direct Short Service Commission (DSSC), or through the Short Service Commission. The Commissioned Officers are mostly graduates with a degree or diploma in recognized course. There are eleven ranks levels for the Commissioned officers.

The Nigerian Air Force commissioned officers are listed below;

  1. Marshal of the Nigerian Air Force
  2. Air Chief Marshal
  3. Air Marshal
  4. Air Vice-Marshal
  5. Air Commodore
  6. Group Captain
  7. Wing Commander
  8. Squadron Leader
  9. Flight Lieutenant
  10. Flying Officer
  11. Pilot Officer

Nigerian Air Force Non-commissioned officers

Nigerian Air Force Non-commissioned officers ranks are those that enlisted through the direct recruitment process, also known as the Airmen. They are sometimes called the “rank and file” of the Air Force.

Nigerian Air Force Non-commissioned officers usually possess O-Level degrees or other lower diplomas in recognized subjects.

The Non-commissioned officers are usually trained for six months before they are deployed. Their roles includes aircraft maintenance, handling weapons, and explosives, K-9s, base defense, direct actions, search and rescue, and medicals. There are nine ranks cadre for the non-commissioned officers.

Nigerian Air Force Non-commissioned officers ranks includes:

  1. Air Warrant Officer
  2. Master Warrant Officer
  3. Warrant Officer
  4. Flight Sergeant
  5. Sergeant
  6. Corporal
  7. Lance Corporal
  8. Aircraftman
  9. Recruit

Nigerian Air Force Salary

Nigerian Air Force salary pays it’s officers according to their ranks from the highest to the lowest ranks. Also, the Nigerian Air Force salaries are heavily based on the educational qualification of the officers. Air Force personnel of all ranks enjoy several benefits and allowances on special assignments, military operations, foreign mission like peacekeeping, duty tours and estacode.

Nigerian Air Force salary is equally based on the Consolidate Armed Forces Salary Structure (CONAFSS) which was commissioned in 2017.

Prior to the Consolidate Armed Forces Salary Structure (CONAFSS), military personnel were complaining of the large disparity between Army officers and Air Force ranks in the salary scale.

For instance, according to the coordinator of RETIRED MEMBERS OF NIGERIAN ARMED FORCES – REMENAF, Comrade Awwal Abdulahi Aliyu he disclosed in 2016 that the disparity between the annual salary of a recruit and a private has a difference of about N500,000.00 or half a million Naira, while the difference between a private and a lance Corporal is just N21,000.00. Hence, the government decided to adjust the salary structure to act as a morale booster in the armed forces and increase loyalty.

With the current Nigerian Air Force salary structure, the airmen now earns befitting take-home pay however, it is not as lucrative as the commissioned officers who are university or NDA graduates.

Outlined below is the Nigerian Air Force salary scale in ascending order;

  • Trainee earns N10,237 as monthly salary
  • Aircraftman earns N53,892 as monthly salary
  • Lance Corporal earns N55,832 as monthly salary
  • Corporal earns N58,634 as monthly salary
  • Sergeant earns N69,261 as monthly salary
  • Flight Sergeant earns N87,119 as monthly salary
  • Warrant Officer earns N101,974 as monthly salary
  • Master Warrant Officer earns N165,697 as monthly salary
  • Cadet (Trainee) earns N44,564 as monthly salary
  • Air Warrant Officer earns N171,793 as monthly salary
  • Pilot Officer earns N187,159 as monthly salary
  • Flying Officer earns N218,400 as monthly salary
  • Flight Lieutenant earns N232,484 as monthly salary
  • Squadron Leader earns N248,004 as monthly salary
  • Wing Comdr earns N342,586 as monthly salary
  • Group Captain earns N352,631 as monthly salary
  • Air Commodore earns N677,895 as monthly salary
  • Air Vice-Marshal earns N1,376,343 as monthly salary
  • Air Marshal earns N1,486,451 as monthly salary
  • Air Chief Marshal earns N1,724,283 as monthly salary

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