The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Baba Abubakar has named the newly constructed pilots crew rooms at the 115 Special Operations Group of the Nigeria Air force, Port Harcourt, after the deceased first female combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile.
Air Marshall Abubakar, who spoke while dedicating the building in honour of Arotile at 115 Special Operations Group, Port Harcourt, said that the step was significant in that it addressed another area of its policy thrust of the commitment to assure the air force personnel that their sacrifices would never be in vain.
He said the gesture has been sustained through the immortalisation of personnel who paid the supreme price in service to the nation.
Abubakar said the objective has always been to acknowledge the contributions of the personnel towards securing the country, while making sure that they and their sacrifices remain forever fresh “in our minds and indeed in the minds of Nigerians.
“I muse over the fact that we are also here to name one of these projects, the Pilots’ Crew Room, after one of our departed colleagues, late Flying Officer Tolulope Oluwatoyin Arotile, the first female combat helicopter pilot in the history of Nigerian Air Force, who died on 14 July, 2020, at the young age of 24. This moody feeling is however made lighter by the fitting memorial of having this Crew Room here at NAF’s home of combat helicopters, named in her honour.
“In immortalising Flying Officer Arotile today, we are not only hoping to honour her memory but also to further inspire young girls in Nigeria to be motivated to study, work hard and to pursue their dreams and legitimate aspirations with pride and honour,” he said.
He also said that the Nigeria Air force has produced other pilots that have distinguished themselves such as first female pilot, Flt Lt Liman, who flies one of the most sophisticated aircraft in its inventory, the Falcon 7X, as well as Flying Officer Sani, the first and only female fighter pilot in the NAF.
He called on girls to aspire for career opportunities in the NAF, saying that there is no limit to what they can achieve.