Air Force Ranks in Nigeria 2022

Air Force Ranks in Nigeria 2022: Hierarchy can be present in every aspect of our daily lives, hence man can never be without a hierarchical thinking.

This is why we live in a classed society; everyone belongs to one of several classes. Are you aware that the NAF has its own hierarchy-based Rank?

This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the Nigerian Air Force Ranks and Hierarchy. Take your time and read everything.

In current usage, NAF Ranks is a title insignia that denotes a soldier’s or officer’s relative status in the military hierarchy.

Observers of Nigerian military affairs may have noticed over the years, particularly in the 1960s, that positions can be further qualified by terms such as ‘Acting’ Brigadier, ‘Temporary’ Major, ‘Substantive’ Lt. Colonel, ‘Local’ Captain, and so on.

A substantive rank, such as S/Major, is a legally recognized and permanent position that comes with suitable pay and benefits.

Update on Air Force Ranks in Nigeria

An officer with an Acting rank receives the income and benefits of that rank for a limited time, but can be reverted to his previous rank by order at any time.

During the civil war, some NCOs and Officers were given not just Acting ranks but also higher Local ranks, which were temporary like the Acting ranks but – theoretically – unpaid, to carry out operations in specific places (or to replace officer casualties).

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There have been other instances in which such steps have been adopted.

What is the Strength of the Nigerian Air Force?

The Nigerian Air Force’s strength lies in its personnel and aircraft numbers. The Nigerian Air Force now has about 18,500 soldiers.

There are 15,900 Airmen and Airwomen, as well as 2,600 officers, in this group.

What are the Functions of the Nigerian Air Force?

The Nigerian Air Force is formed as a tactical Air Force to carry out;

  • Air Defense
  • Air Transport
  • Counter Air Operations
  • Close Air Support
  • Interdiction
  • Air Reece

Maritime Operations

The Nigerian Air Force has a set of functions that are incorporated in its constitutions as a military force. These are some of the functions:

  • To provide and train special operations forces.
  • To equip and supply air mobility forces.
  • Also, to provide forces to protect Nigeria’s airspace.
  • To prepare forces for air combat operations by training and supplying them.
  • In the event of an air attack on Nigeria, to defend the country.
  • Forces for Joint Air Transported Operations will be supplied.
  • In order to provide equipment for electronic warfare activities.
  • Aerial photography forces will be trained and supplied.
  • To prepare and supply forces for refueling flights.
  • In Air Force operations, to develop in accordance with procedure.
  • To collaborate with other forces in order to protect the airspace.

Air Force Ranks in Nigeria According to Hierarchy

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) was formally constituted by an act of Parliament in 1964, after two years of secret preparations.

The Ethiopian, Canadian, Indian, and German Air Forces were in charge of initial training and military acculturation.

It employed Army-style ranks until 1976. It now uses Royal Air Force rank titles, with slight changes.

The current ‘harmonized’ NAF rank structure is as follows (from the bottom up):


  • Aircraftman/woman
  • Lance Corporal
  • Corporal
  • Sergeant
  • Flight Sergeant
  • Warrant Officer
  • Master Warrant Officer
  • Air Warrant Officer


  • Pilot Officer
  • Flying Officer
  • Flight Lieutenant
  • Squadron Leader
  • Wing Commander
  • Group Captain
  • Air Commodore
  • Air Vice-Marshal Air Marshal
  • Air Chief Marshal
  • Marshal of the Air Force

Nigerian Air Force Ranks for Non-commissioned Officers

Non-commissioned officers of the Nigerian Airforce are divided into nine ranks. They are as follows:

  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

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