Fatuma Ahmed Makes History as Kenya’s First Female Air Force Commander

In a historic move, Major General Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed has become the first woman to head Kenyan Airforce.

She was appointed by President William Ruto alongside other leaders including a new head of the armed forces, following the tragic death of the military chief and others in a helicopter crash last month.

Ahmed rose to prominence, breaking barriers in the male dominated military leadership.

In August 2015, she was the first woman to rise to the rank of brigadier and major general.

Her rise has been seen as an achievement in promoting gender equality in the armed forces.

Ahmed’s journey into the armed forces began unexpectedly: while returning home from secondary school after completing final examinations in 1983, she passed by a stadium near military offices conducting a recruitment exercise.

Intrigued, She joined the military later, serving under the Women Service Corps, a woman-only outfit that operated as a separate entity from the other arms of the defence forces.

Her appointment replaces John Omenda, who has been promoted to vice chief of the defense forces and the rank of lieutenant general.

Additionally, the President has appointed Charles Kahariri as the nation’s new defence chief, following the untimely death of his predecessor’s deputy, who was about to mark 40 years of military service.

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