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81 FS says farewell to last Nigerian Air Force class

Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot launches a Hydra 70 rocket at a target at the Grand Bay Bombing and Gunnery Range near Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 1, 2021. The 81st Fighter Squadron trained the NAF with A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft to be mission ready in Nigeria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot launches a Hydra 70 rocket at a target at the Grand Bay Bombing and Gunnery Range near Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 1, 2021. The 81st Fighter Squadron trained the NAF with A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft to be mission ready in Nigeria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

A Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot fires two .50-caliber machine guns at a target at the Grand Bay Bombing and Gunnery Range near Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 1, 2021. The A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft seats two pilots, allowing both to operate the aircraft and employ weapons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

A Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot fires two .50-caliber machine guns at a target at the Grand Bay Bombing and Gunnery Range near Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 1, 2021. The A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft seats two pilots, allowing both to operate the aircraft and employ weapons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

Nigerian Air Force Air Vice Marshal Sule Lawal, Nigerian A-29 program lead foreign liaison officer, gives a speech during the NAF A-29 pilot graduation ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 2, 2021. Each pilot has accomplished more than 70 hours of formal academics, 65 hours of simulators, and between 50-100 hours of flying, depending on their specific track. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

Nigerian Air Force Air Vice Marshal Sule Lawal, Nigerian A-29 program lead foreign liaison officer, gives a speech during the NAF A-29 pilot graduation ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 2, 2021. Each pilot has accomplished more than 70 hours of formal academics, 65 hours of simulators, and between 50-100 hours of flying, depending on their specific track. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

Nigerian Air Force Air Vice Marshal Sule Lawal, Nigerian A-29 program lead foreign liaison officer, right, recognizes Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano pilot, left, as a distinguished graduate for the instructor upgrade syllabus during the NAF A-29 pilot graduation ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 2, 2021. In under one year, the NAF pilots became mission ready through their hard work and dedication in their training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

Nigerian Air Force Air Vice Marshal Sule Lawal, Nigerian A-29 program lead foreign liaison officer, right, recognizes Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano pilot, left, as a distinguished graduate for the instructor upgrade syllabus during the NAF A-29 pilot graduation ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 2, 2021. In under one year, the NAF pilots became mission ready through their hard work and dedication in their training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

Nigerian Air Force Air Vice Marshal Sule Lawal, Nigerian A-29 program lead foreign liaison officer, right, recognizes Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot, left, as a distinguished graduate for the mission qualification syllabus during the NAF A-29 pilot graduation ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 2, 2021. Upon graduating, the NAF pilots are qualified to strafe with two .50-caliber machine guns, shoot high explosive rockets, and drop both general purpose and laser guided bombs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

Nigerian Air Force Air Vice Marshal Sule Lawal, Nigerian A-29 program lead foreign liaison officer, right, recognizes Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot, left, as a distinguished graduate for the mission qualification syllabus during the NAF A-29 pilot graduation ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 2, 2021. Upon graduating, the NAF pilots are qualified to strafe with two .50-caliber machine guns, shoot high explosive rockets, and drop both general purpose and laser guided bombs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilots load a van with their luggage before departing Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 4, 2021. The NAF pilots spent approximately nine months training with the 81st Fighter Squadron on the A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilots load a van with their luggage before departing Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 4, 2021. The NAF pilots spent approximately nine months training with the 81st Fighter Squadron on the A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilots load into a van before departing Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 4, 2021. This was the last class of NAF pilots to graduate from the 81st Fighter Squadron’s A-29B Super Tucano Instructor Pilot Upgrade Mission Qualification Syllabus, training on the A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilots load into a van before departing Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 4, 2021. This was the last class of NAF pilots to graduate from the 81st Fighter Squadron’s A-29B Super Tucano Instructor Pilot Upgrade Mission Qualification Syllabus, training on the A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

Uzoma Elizabeth Emenike, Nigerian ambassador, visits the 81st Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 14, 2021. The ambassador came to the 81st FS to meet and send off the pilots who are transporting the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from Moody AFB to Kainji Air Base, Nigeria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Megan Estrada)

Uzoma Elizabeth Emenike, Nigerian ambassador, visits the 81st Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 14, 2021. The ambassador came to the 81st FS to meet and send off the pilots who are transporting the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from Moody AFB to Kainji Air Base, Nigeria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Megan Estrada)

Sule Baba Lawal, Nigerian Air Vice-Marshal, right; Uzoma Elizabeth Emenike, Nigerian Ambassador, center; and Jibrin Usman, Nigerian Air Commodore, pose for a photo on the wing of an A-29 Super Tucano aircraft at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 14, 2021. The ambassador came to the 81st FS to meet and send off the pilots who are transporting the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from Moody AFB to Kainji Air Base, Nigeria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Megan Estrada)

Sule Baba Lawal, Nigerian Air Vice-Marshal, right; Uzoma Elizabeth Emenike, Nigerian Ambassador, center; and Jibrin Usman, Nigerian Air Commodore, pose for a photo on the wing of an A-29 Super Tucano aircraft at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 14, 2021. The ambassador came to the 81st FS to meet and send off the pilots who are transporting the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from Moody AFB to Kainji Air Base, Nigeria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Megan Estrada)

An A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot from the 81st Fighter Squadron performs a preflight inspection at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 15, 2021. Nigeria purchased the A-29s through the Foreign Military Sales program, following the Department of Defense’s “Total Package Approach” model. The nearly $500 million sale is the largest FMS program in sub-Saharan Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)
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An A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot from the 81st Fighter Squadron performs a preflight inspection at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 15, 2021. Nigeria purchased the A-29s through the Foreign Military Sales program, following the Department of Defense’s “Total Package Approach” model. The nearly $500 million sale is the largest FMS program in sub-Saharan Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

An A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is prepared for departure at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 15, 2021. The Department of Defense made the purchase agreement in 2018. The aircraft will be transported to Kainji Air Base, Nigeria, where it will serve the NAF for future operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)
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An A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is prepared for departure at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 15, 2021. The Department of Defense made the purchase agreement in 2018. The aircraft will be transported to Kainji Air Base, Nigeria, where it will serve the NAF for future operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

An A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot from the 81st Fighter Squadron, left, performs a preflight inspection at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 15, 2021. After more than a year of training, the final batch of aircraft are finally being sent to Nigeria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)
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An A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot from the 81st Fighter Squadron, left, performs a preflight inspection at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 15, 2021. After more than a year of training, the final batch of aircraft are finally being sent to Nigeria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

U.S. Air Force contractor Travis Smith, 81st Fighter Squadron A-29 Super Tucano aircraft technician, prepares to marshal an A-29 Super Tucano pilot for departure at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 15, 2021. The aircraft are being transported to Nigeria by U.S. Air Force contracted pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)
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U.S. Air Force contractor Travis Smith, 81st Fighter Squadron A-29 Super Tucano aircraft technician, prepares to marshal an A-29 Super Tucano pilot for departure at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 15, 2021. The aircraft are being transported to Nigeria by U.S. Air Force contracted pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

An A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot taxis down the runway to depart Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 15, 2021. The U.S. government sold 12 A-29 aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force to enhance their capabilities in providing national security for Nigeria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)
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An A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot taxis down the runway to depart Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 15, 2021. The U.S. government sold 12 A-29 aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force to enhance their capabilities in providing national security for Nigeria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

An A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot taxis down the runway to depart Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 15, 2021. The U.S. government sold 12 A-29 aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force to enhance their capabilities in providing national security for Nigeria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)
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An A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot taxis down the runway to depart Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 15, 2021. The U.S. government sold 12 A-29 aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force to enhance their capabilities in providing national security for Nigeria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

A Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot departs Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 15, 2021. The U.S. government sold 12 A-29 aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force to enhance their capabilities in providing national security for Nigeria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)
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A Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot departs Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 15, 2021. The U.S. government sold 12 A-29 aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force to enhance their capabilities in providing national security for Nigeria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

The 81st Fighter Squadron hosted training with the Nigerian Air Force on the A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft since September 2020, and has graduated its final class at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Sept. 2, 2021.

Each class was approximately nine months of training consisting of ground mechanics, aircraft familiarization and piloting the aircraft. 

“We started from the initial qualification training and that’s just to introduce you to the aircraft, flight characteristics of the aircraft and how to use it in different situations,” said Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft pilot from the 407th Air Combat Training Group. “From there, we went on to the mission training, which is how to employ the aircraft in a combat situation in different environments, and how to employ the guns, rockets and bombs.”

The 81st FS trained not only pilots, but also maintainers, munition technicians and other specialties.

The Nigerian government purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft as well as parts, simulators and more from the U.S. government under a $493 million foreign military sales contract.

The NAF pilot said it is most ideal for the United States to train the pilots how to employ the aircraft since they are selling the aircraft to them.

U.S. Air Force Maj. “T-Rex” Grillos, 81st FS A-29 Super Tucano aircraft evaluator pilot, said the partnership with the NAF not only improves tactics, techniques and procedures for both parties, but by providing the training, the 81st FS enables the NAF to be force multipliers for years to come.

Working with the NAF shows the U.S. Air Force’s capability to globalize their training program and efficacy.

“A lot of other nations see the U.S. Air Force and its success as something that they would like to emulate,” Grillos said. “We can build relationships, maintain relationships, improve capability and create more targeting problems for our enemies by devoting effort to our combat operations.”

The last wave of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft departed Moody AFB for Kainji Air Base, Nigeria, Sept. 15, 2021.