Air Marshal Hasan Bala Abubakar DFS GSS psc fdc FCMH FCM MIAD MNIM MCIPM FISPN

Chief of the Air Staff


1. Born on 11 September 1970, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar is an indigene of Shanono Local Government Area in Kano State, Northwest Nigeria. A member of 39 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy, he was commissioned as Pilot Officer in September 1992. It would be an understatement to aver that Air Marshal Abubakar came fully prepared for his newfound role. His years of experience and exposure to various operational responsibilities and leadership roles would provide an insight. 

2. Air Marshal Abubakar commenced his Ab-initio and Basic Flying Training Courses at the 301 Flying Training School, now 401 Flying Training School, Kaduna; Basic and Advanced Airborne Courses at the Nigerian Army Infantry Centre and School, Jaji; and Company Amphibious Operations Course at the Nigerian Army Infantry Centre and School, Calabar. He also attended the Junior and Senior Command Staff Courses at the prestigious Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji, Kaduna State. Air Marshal Abubakar is a qualified Aeromechanical Engineer having obtained a Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering from the Nigerian Air Force Technical Training Group (now Air Force Institute of Technology), Kaduna. Additionally, the senior officer holds a diploma in Aviation Safety Management from the Embry-Riddle University Aeronautics, Daytona Beach Florida as well as a Diploma in National Security and Country Resilience from the Galilee Institute, Nahalal, Israel. 

3. Air Marshal Abubakar’s quest for knowledge acquisition stands him out. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences from the Nigerian Defence Academy and Masters Degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria as well as Diploma in French Language from the Benin Center for Foreign Languages in Cotonou, Benin Republic. Additionally, he obtained a Diploma in Education Theory and Practice from the University of Jos and a Certificate in Personnel Administration and Management from Ground Training Group now Nigerian Air Force Institute of Administrative Management, Kaduna. For his strategic military level training, Air Marshal Abubakar attended the National Defence Course at the Nasser Higher Military Academy, Cairo, Egypt. While in Cairo, he took cognizance of the strategies adopted by the Egyptian military in executing their counterterrorism efforts as well as their ability to influence and promote peaceful co-habitation with their contiguous neighbours. It is pertinent to also mention here that Air Marshal Abubakar is an Honour Roll graduate of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research Programme of Correspondence Instruction in Peace Keeping Operations.

4. In an illustrious career spanning over three decades, Air Marshal Abubakar has served in diverse roles cutting across Operational, Command, Staff as well as Policy and Strategic Leadership functions. At the operational level, Air Marshal Abubakar was at various times the Officer Commanding ‘B’ Squadron (Donier-228 aircraft) and Commanding Officer Base Services Wing at 81 Air Maritime Group, Benin. He also spent a large part of his career years at the 88 Military Airlift Group, (now 301 Heavy Airlift Group), Ikeja, where he held various appointments including Operations Officer, Operational Conversion Unit; Commanding Officer, 21 Wing and the Group Safety Officer. In these roles, Air Marshal Abubakar supervised and oversaw a synergistic employment of various air power roles to effectively support air and land forces in sustaining stabilization operations across the various Theatres of Operation. Internationally, Air Marshal Abubakar was at the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) as a Team Leader in Mahagi, Ituri Brigade and as Aviation Planning Officer, MONUC Air Operations Base in Kinshasa. 

5. His Command experience covers the spectrum from the tactical, through the operational to the strategic levels, endowing him with a holistic appreciation of the complexities of leading a fighting force. Significantly in this regard, Air Marshal Abubakar served as the Fleet Operation Officer and later as the Commander of the prestigious 011 Presidential Air Fleet, Abuja. He was also privileged to serve in key capacities which enabled him to contribute significantly to the development of the NAF whilst acquiring unique perspectives and insights which have shaped his strategic thoughts. For instance, he was at Mobility Command, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State as the Chief of Staff and at various times the Director of Policy and Director of Operations, both at the Headquarters Nigerian Air Force, Abuja. Heading these key directorates at a period of intense counterterrorism and counterinsurgency air operations no doubt instilled in him a deep appreciation of developmental imperatives as well as the strategic directive of NAF operations. In the area of policy and strategic leadership, he has developed vital competencies in the course of his service as Air Officer Commanding Logistics Command, Ikeja Lagos. Most recently, until his appointment as the 22nd Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar was the Chief of Standards and Evaluation at Headquarters Nigerian Air Force, an appointment that caters to the supervision and maintenance of safety standards in the Nigerian Air Force.

6. A good listener who strongly believes in teamwork and giving his subordinates the opportunity to air their views, Air Marshal Abubakar is also an advocate of jointness and cooperation which he strongly believes have been instrumental to the successes so far recorded in ongoing counterinsurgency and counterterrorism efforts. He has therefore promised to uphold these operational attributes in line with Mr President’s directive while also adopting additional air power measures and approaches that will continually diminish Nigeria’s security challenges and enhance the disposition of the various Theatres of Operation.

7. Air Marshal Abubakar is decorated, amongst others, with the General Service Star, Distinguished Service Star and General Service Medal. He has also been privileged to benefit from strategic leadership development training in notable indigenous and international institutions. He is an alumnus of the prestigious Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji-Nigeria as well as a Fellow of the Nasser Higher Military Academy, Cairo in Egypt. He is a member of the National Institute of Management, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management and Fellow Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria.

8. With over 4,500 flying hours under his belt, the 22nd Chief of the Air Staff is type-rated on the Air Beetle, Dornier -228, C-130 Hercules and the Boeing 737. He is happily married to Hajiya Rakiya Abubakar and the marriage is blessed with children. Air Marshal Abubakar enjoys flying airplanes and at his leisure prefers reading, reflecting and keeping fit.