Tag Archives: SAAF100

Airforce Base Waterkloof Reaches Out To South African Homeless Citizens!

Following the National Lockdown, as announced by the President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the South African National Defence Force, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, the Acting General Officer Commanding Air Force Base Waterkloof, Brigadier General Jacobus Christoffel Johannes Butler tasked the Base Corporate Communication Section and Chaplain Services to identify and coordinate social outreach to homeless and needy people within the Base’s area of responsibility.

Consequently, on 01 April 2020, the Air Force Base Waterkloof in partnership with Hennops Revival (Reverend Charlie Wernich), Haven of Hope (Mr Tebogo Mpufane) and Pierre van Ryneveld Spar (Mr Joe Pereira and Frikkie Coetzee) served 50 meals to homeless people at the Centurion taxi rank and surrounding areas.

The aim of this initiative was also to educate or inform vulnerable communities, especially those around the taxi rank about the Coronavirus and on how they (community) could help to flatten the curve. Community members were encouraged, notwithstanding their social conditions, to practice good hygiene, to wash their hands regularly and the importance of social distancing. Furthermore, members were informed that the virus knows no social standings, or the colour of your skin, your gender, or your age and that it can affect/infect anyone.

The Chief of the SA Air Force, Lieutenant General Zimpande Msimang commends Air Force Base Waterkloof on a great initiative.

Information by Major Terence Vukela and Photographs by Corporal Ayanda Sedibe, SA Air Force.



YOUR PARTNER IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 PANDEMIC

OG heads for Bloem!

Major Omphile “Biggy” Matloane former leader, soloist and slot pilot for the South African Airforce Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team bids farewell to Central Flying School at Airforce Base Langebaanweg and heads to Airforce Base Bloemspruit to continue instruction on helicopters, his message below as he leaves the team!

Falcons & Gripen
Falcons & Gripen

“Gentlemen, with a bit of luck and sheer guts tomorrow will be my last day as an official member of the Central Flying School. Goodness me, where does the time go ? Change is the only constant and inevitable. It’s been one heck of a tour ! 6 years flew past like nothing! Iv made friends and enemies alike! “

A great team

“But to tell you the truth , to say I’ve made enemies is a waste of the queens language! It doesn’t matter. What matters is the work we’ve all accomplished. I deeply believe when I meet all you after tomorrow, somewhere out there in the bigger saaf it will be a meeting of smiles and laughs.So , after all it’s said, done and dusted all that’s left is gratitude and total humility. I thank you so much for all the years !

Nine PC7MKIIs from Central Flying School Langebaanweg

“50 years from now , my grandkids will hear all the stories of my tour at Central Flying School ‘CFS’. And it will be a fascinating narration. Whatever happened was supposed to happen exactly how it happened. That means I have little to no regrets ! Which puts me at peace.”

Silver Falcons PC7MKIIs

“From the deepest part of my heart I wish you all the very best . Don’t worry much about the current situation! It too shall pass . Very soon the team will be tearing up the South African skies doing loops and barrels! And it will feel like there was never a pause ! Remember to find the joy in it or else it’s futile but remember you are the only team in SA which covers the length and breadth of our landscape. “

The moments not to forget

“Somehow I think the saaf will come out stronger through this crazy unpredictable period the entire world finds itself in . What am I saying? You guys are in the right place to dictate the future. “

Silver Falcons at AAD2018

“Every emotion I felt , every time I was uncertain or certain I was taking the right action, every time I was afraid, or unsure was the right emotion. It all led to this moment. Newcastle airshow 2018 and in hindsight Swartkops airshow 2019 will forever be etched in my blue print.”

Major Omphile Matloane receives his golden wings from Major Sivu Tangana September 2018

“Impossible is man made and not a representation of life . So all thatnis left is to say thank you . In my native tongue it goes like this ‘ ke a leboga. Ke leboga go menagane”

“We take and we give”- Memories of 60 Squadron

60 Squadron SAAF is a squadron of the South African Air Force. It is a transport, aerial refuelling and EW/ELINT squadron. It was first formed at Nairobi in December 1940. During its first years the squadron flew the British Aircraft Double Eagle, Martin Maryland, de Havilland Mosquito, and the Lockheed Ventura.

The South African Airforces 60 Squadron came into existence upon thr renumbering of 62 survey Squadron on 29 December 1940.Completion of the survey around Garissa in Kenya started by its prescessor was the units first priority,then tasking being completed shortly before the BA Double Eagle was grounded for a major overhaul.With Both Ansons the aircraft had on strength were also grounded for maintaince and the need for spares in South Africa at the time.

BA Double Eagle

60 Squadrons lamentable state was to be reminded with the arrival of a third Anson to the Squadron from the Union on 17 January when serial number 1107 touched down in Kenya Nairobi.

Avro Anson

In June 1946 the unit was designated to a Medium Bomber Squadron and re-established at Airforce Station Zwartkop on the 21 August, known today as Airforce Base Swartkop, home to 17 Squadron a helicopter unit and the South African Airforce Museum Heritage Flight.

This was the time the Squadron were operating under the control of number 3 Bomber Wing with Lockheed B-34 Ventura’s on their strength. At least six of the De Havilland Mosquitoes are known to have been passed onto the bombing command.

Lockheed B-34 Ventura
De Havilland Mosquitoe

Tasks under taken included survey work in the Eastern Cape, by a C47 Dakota detachment at Port Alfred in 1949 and a similar exercise in Cape Town during the time’s of the 1950s.

C47 Dakota

The acquisition of three Boeing 707s in March 1982 was the culmination of a ten year project undertaken to provide the SAAF with a dedicated air-to-air refueling and electronic warfare capability and it fell to 60 Squadron to assume the mantle of responsibility for this function when the unit was reformed at Airforce Base Waterkloof in Pretoria on July 16 1986 following the aircraft’s modernisation and modification programme.

Boeing 707

A further two Boeing 707s were subsequently acquired while the task of maintaining the SAAFs electronic warfare and early warning capabilities were added to the units primary responsibility.

Boeing 707

The Squadron provided highly effective ‘force multiplayer’ to 1 Squadron Mirage F1AZs until the F1AZ retirement in in November 1997.The squadron was still a vital asset to 2 Squadrons Cheetah C and D variants until 60 Squadron was disbanded and the retirement of the 707 from SAAF use in 2007.

2 Squadron Cheetah D Refuelling

The Squadrons contribution was rewarded with its colours during a parade at Airforce Base Waterkloof on 7 October1994.The following year the squadron record another first for the SAAF when it displayed a Boeing 707 at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in the United Kingdom.

Swedish Gripens tank on the then newly painted 60 Squadron Boeing 707

Today a Retired 60 Squadron Boeing 707 tail number 1419 can be viewed at Airforce Base Swartkop on monthly flying days and airshows.

South African Air Force Renders Support At Table Mountain Fires

On Sunday, 15 March 2020, the Fire Fighters from Air Force Base Ysterplaat worked throughout the night following a request to assist with the fire that ravaged the Table Mountain, Cape Town, in the Western Cape Province.


City of Cape Fire crews were alerted of the fire at 12:50 wherein they tried to contain the fire, but their efforts were hampered by strong gusting winds. The fire rapidly spread to Lion’s Head and Signal Hill.


It is as a result of the escalation of fire, that at approximately 19:52 the Chief Fire Officer of Air Force Base Ysterplaat, Lieutenant Colonel Kyle Jonker was alerted by the Acting Officer Commanding to be on standby for a possible response.


Five (5) Fire Fighters from Air Force Base Ysterplaat responded with the Atego HAZMAT vehicle to the fire scene upon activation at 21:20. The team joined other fire fighters and immediately commenced with firefighting throughout the night.

They used over 30 000 litres of water from 21:50 till 07:00 this morning. The team was relieved at 08:00 by a crew of four (4).

The crew consisted of Sergeants’ Wayne Wood, Neil Kirkwood, Safhiek Judd, Wayne Human, Samuel Mars, Cyril Lackey, Nicky Everson, Ashraf Madatt and Roual Splinter.

An Oryx from 22 Squadron is on standby for any eventuality.

22 Squadron Oryx Helicopter

15 Squadron Extract Sick Crewman Off Durban Coast

15 Squadron received  a call saying there’s a male person on a ship with cerebral malaria. With the ongoing spread of Coronavirus the risk of the Ships being allowed to dock in the nearby Durban Harbour was a no go.

The vessel CONRAD  is a Bulk Carrier built in 2017 (3 years old) and currently sailing under the flag of Liberia.

Bulk Carrier Vessel CONRAD

A SAAF Oryx Helicopter part of the 15 Squadron helicopter asset was to the Rescue as a need  to get the patient off the ship. Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Fraser Officer Commanding  15 Squadron, Major Altaaf Sheik and Flight Sargent Ryan Naidoo together with three members from Netcare 911 flew out to the ship 12nm from the coast and hoisted members of the Netcare personnel onto the vessel (called the “Conrad”). The man was  stabilized, ventilated and other  other necessary precautions were put in place  while the Oryx Helicopter remained in the holding position in the versinity of the ship.

20 minutes had passed and the Oryx was called back from a NSRI vessel which was also on scene to to communicate with both the Oryx crews, the ship and the NSRI. On the ship the patient was ready for extrication. The Oryx proceeded into the hover over the helipad again and hoisted the medics and the patient onboard and flew him to St Augustines hospital in Durban.

Once again 15 Squadron pulled off a successful sea extraction and saved a life. 15 Squadron is based at the old Durban International Airport and is home to Agusta A109LUHs and Oryx Helicopters, with their sister base in Airforce Station Port Elizabeth home to 15 Squadron “Charlie” Flight flying BK117s.

As 15 Squadron says
“The first 15 the rest are reserves “

Armed Forces Day Polokwane 2020 Parade

After a quick 20 minute flight form Airforce Base Waterkloof in Pretoria in one of South African Airways Airbus A340-300 aircraft , I’m sure the local plane spotters don’t see a Airbus A340 land at Polokwane Gateway International Airport everyday, I think that was a treat for them to see us land both on the 18th February and 21 February.

Airbus A340-313

After arriving we arrived near the podium for the parade and flypasts with formations of different aircraft from the South African Airforce, the flag flypasts was up first with an Agusta A109LUH, 22 Squadron Lynx and a Oryx helicopter.

The chopper formation was then next to open the mass flypasts columns, that formation consisted of four Agusta A109s, 3 Oryx Helicopters from various squadrons from around South Africa, a single Lynx Maritime helicopter and a Rooivalk keeping a safe look on the formations six o clock position!

Next was the transport formation made up of a 44 Squadron Casa 212, two aircraft form 41 Squadron that being a Cessna 208A Caravan and a KingAir 200.Jumbo formation was up next with a 28 Squadron C130BZ leading the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team from the Central Flying School from Airforce Base Langabaanweg along the Western Cape West coast led by Major Sivu Tangana.

41 Squadron KingAir 200 & Cessna C208 Caravan and lastly a 44 Squadron Casa 212
28 Squadron C130BZ & Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team

The much awaited fighter formations were followed by the lead in Fighter trainer of the South African Airforce of 85 Combat Flying School with five Hawk MK120s. The flying cheetahs better known as 2 Squadron was then followed by five JAS39s Gripens.

2 Squadron Gripens

After the flypasts moved off Major Geoffrey “Spartan” Cooper provided a solo display with a JAS39C Gripen, tearing up the Polokwane skies with the epic roar of the sound of freedom as our Commander in chief witnessed one of the best Gripen displays one can see on the South African Airshow circuit.

Gripen solo display

The formation of four Hawk Mk120s then ended the flying proceedings of the day with a formation break overhead the podium.The parade continued with mechnised coloums, and all other forms of arms on parade!

All images without watermarks are courtesy of the SANDF. We would like to thanks General Fabian Msimang for waiting with us media and invited guests on Friday 21 February until our other SAA aircraft arrived after a snag on the A340 that we flew to Polokwane in broke down. Your company was highly appreciated Sir!

Address by Commander-In-Chief, President Cyril Ramaphosa on the occasion of Armed Forces Day, Polokwane, Limpopo

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula,
Premier of Limpopo Province, Mr Stanley Mathabatha,
Ministers of Defence from fraternal countries,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
MECs,
Mayor of Polokwane and Councillors,
Secretary for Defence, Dr Sam Gulube,
Chief of the South African National Defence Force, General Solly Shoke,
Members of the Military Command Council, 
Generals, Admirals, Officers and Officials,
Non-Commissioned Officers,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Soldiers on Parade,
Military Veterans,
Distinguished Guests,

Fellow South Africans,

As the Commander-in-Chief of the South African National Defence Force, it is my privilege to be here today to honour our women and men in uniform.

Armed Forces Day is commemorated annually to pay tribute to the soldiers who perished in the English Channel in 1917 on board the SS Mendi during the First World War.

We honour the women and men who protect our borders, and those who have gone before who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of our nation. 

We are proud of the progress we have made in ensuring that from the disparate apartheid-era armed forces a single, united, uniquely South African National Defence Force has emerged.

The SANDF is an enduring symbol of our rainbow nation, and includes in its ranks black and white, men and women.

Through loyalty and discipline, in defending our territorial integrity and sovereignty, though your involvement in conflict resolution and peacemaking efforts on the continent, and through your heroic roles during natural disasters both at home and in our neighboring countries, the SANDF indeed makes us proud to be South African.

Only ten days ago, we commemorated the 30th anniversary of the release of the SANDF’s first Commander-in-Chief, President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. 

We should not forget that historic day, which dramatically changed our country’s political trajectory and led to the peaceful transition to democracy and which brought the SANDF into existence.

We mark Armed Forces Day this year at a time when South Africa has assumed the chairship of the African Union for 2020. 

This is a great responsibility to lead our continent towards the peace, unity and prosperity envisaged many years ago by our forebears like Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Patrice Lumumba, Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, Thomas Sankara and Kenneth Kaunda.

In May this year, South Africa will host the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the AU on ‘Silencing the Guns’, one of the pillars of the AU’s Agenda 2063.

This Summit will provide an opportunity to assess the implementation of the AU Master Roadmap, and at the same time respond to emerging developments on the African peace and security landscape. 

As a continent, we have set milestones towards the attainment of a better and safer continent for all Africans, but our progress remains mixed.

Conflict continues in several African countries, undermining our collective efforts to achieve peace and security.

South Africa looks to the SANDF to assist us to meet our obligations with regards to supporting continental peace and security.

On this 2020 Armed Forces Day, we remember all the heroes and heroines in the SANDF who serve us without any expectation of reward, and who put their lives on the line to serve their country and their continent. 

In our quest to Silence the Guns, we acknowledge the enduring challenges of armed conflict in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, in North Africa, in the Sahel, in the Horn of Africa and in the Great Lakes region.

We count on the SANDF as an organ mandated by the AU and the UN respectively to discharge the important responsibility of promoting peace.

I commend our soldiers for staying true to this cause despite the many challenges they face. 

On this Armed Forces Day, we show appreciation for the service rendered by our soldiers, who despite limited numbers, ensure that the 4,800 kilometres of our vast border is patrolled. 

The companies deployed along the South Africa border with Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique continue to make great strides in curtailing illegal actions in their areas of responsibility. 

These men and women do remarkable work in safeguarding our borders and in assisting the South African Police Service with crime prevention. 

We commend them, knowing that the vast stretch of our border requires far more resources on the ground.

As a nation, we owe a great debt of appreciation to our National Defence Force for being not just a fighting force, but a developmental force.

Across our country, we have seen the SANDF render essential services through the deployment of health professionals at public health facilities that are in crisis.

We have seen our men and women in uniform repair sewage infrastructure along the Vaal River and in the North West.

Our forces have built bridges in rural areas to give isolated communities access to places and services they would not be able to reach otherwise.

And our forces are active in fire-fighting as well as mountain and maritime search-and-rescue operations.

In undertaking these diverse programmes, the South African National Defence Force draws on the talents and energy of young South Africans.

The Military Skills Development System is an important front in our nation’s battle against youth unemployment.

I am therefore pleased that the programme for the 2020 Armed Forces Day included a military careers showcase.

I hope that young people who wish to develop themselves and grow South Africa will embrace these opportunities through which they will make an important contribution to the security and sustainability of our nation.

We recognise that we have come a long way in the past 25 years. 

We have to continue growing our defence industry, especially as it makes a significant contribution in the country’s economy. 

To strengthen the relationship between the defence industry and the armed forces, we have launched the National Defence Industry Council. 

This development aims to support the defence industry with export opportunities while also meeting the SANDF’s material needs. 

We have also launched the Defence Industry Fund, with the objective of growing the local defence industry and servicing the SANDF and external clients. 

We are starting to see the fruits of this intervention in our military. 

Our Armaments Corporation, Armscor, is also integrally involved in these processes and continues to provide major acquisition and project management capabilities. 

South Africans should be proud that their military is providing opportunities to small businesses and contributing to the stimulation of local economies where bases are situated. 

This we have done through Project Koba-Tlala. 

To this effect, the SANDF has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Small Business Development to raise the department’s spend on small and medium enterprises from 30% to 50%, and create a lifeline for start-ups and budding entrepreneurs. 

I challenge you to ensure that women-owned businesses access a significant chunk of this procurement in line with the call by the AU for the allocation of at least 25% of public procurement to women-owned businesses, instead of the current 1%. 

Compatriots,

I want to commend Minister Mapisa-Nqakula for establishing the Ministerial Task Team against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the military. 

The Task Team is currently hard at work to rid our military of incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse, which go against the grain of our military ethos and character, and which violate the very principles on which our democracy is founded. 

These are steps in the right direction to address the disgraceful behaviour of a few men and which will give weight to our efforts to end violence against women on our continent.

During our tenure as African Union chair, we will make the adoption of the AU Convention on Violence Against Women a priority, and urge member states to ratify international protocols that outlaw gender discrimination. 

The global climate crisis threatens our continent more than most, contributing to resource scarcity and instability.

It has the potential to aggravate security issues. 

As Chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change, I will ensure that South Africa prioritises mitigation, adaptation and support. 

As Commander-in-Chief, I will keenly follow the initiative that the Defence Minister took with the campaign to ‘Plant Trees Not Bombs’ in Durban in November 2019. 

The UN Under-Secretary-General, Fabrizio Drummond, was also part of this initiative and urged UN members to plant 75 million trees as part of mitigating climate change, also in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN. 

I urge the SANDF to expand this initiative in partnership with other government entities.

As I conclude, I wish to pay tribute to one of our own, the late Chief of the South African Army, Lt-Gen Thabiso Mokhosi, who we laid to rest in December 2019. 

He would have been with us today. 

In his memory, let us continue serving this country loyally, and redouble our efforts to ensure that South Africans feel safe and remain safe.

I thank you.

Armed Forces Day 2020 Capability Demonstration |Night Shoot- Roodewal Bombing Range

The most anticipated event of the Armed Forces Week taking place in Polokwane had to be the capability demonstration at the Roodewal Bombing Range a few kilometres outside the Limpopo capital Polokwane.

Guests were flown up to Polokwane by a charted aircraft,where they were then bused to the bombing range,to witness some of the different assets the South African National Defence Forces Firepower!

The display of arms started with various vehicles showing their fire power, that being the Ratel 90,Olifant MK2 battle tanks are just to name a few.Pathfinders were then dropped into the battle zone as that was the beginning of the mechanised attack from different mechanised armored vehicles, air assets and other ground forces.

Ratel 90
Olifant mk2

The South African Airforce are big favourites at Roodewal as this is the home to 2 Squadron and 85 Combat Flying School as their weapons training grounds. An Oryx Helicopter simulated a fire fighting task, with a Bambi bucket equipped underneath the helicopter.

Oryx Helicopter

The fighters assets provided a recce run, with a single gripen and hawk. A 2v1 combat routine was then shown by two friendly JAS39C Gripens and a enemy Hawk Mk120.

Hawk & Gripen Formation
2 Squadron JAS39C Gripen

Trooping was tasked to a pair of Oryx helicopters with fast ropping, followed by two Agusta A109 helicopters providing a mock hoisting operation from a downed pilot scenario.

Agusta A109LUH

From the transport line including 44 Squadron with a single Casa 212 simulated a tactical cargo supply drop. A 41 Squadron Cessna 208A Caravan was the eye in the sky providing top cover footage to both the spectators and playing a vital role during the entire period of the demonstration with aerial visuals to the coordinators of the simulated battle zone.

44 Squadron Casa 212
41 Squadron Cessna 208A Caravan

The invited guests were treated to see 2 different 16 Squadron Rooivalks in camo and in white, the proudly south African made helicopter provided both cannon and rocket fire gun runs during the demo.

16 Squadron Rooivalk rocket strike!
16 Squadron Rooivalk

Bombing runs were then up next ,with Hawks and Gripens and then followed by a 30mm Aden cannon strike from four Hawks on Charlie Coke known to the pilots as the famous weapons strike zone!

Hawk Bomb Run
The Aftermath
Hawk 30mm Cannon

The night shoot was made up of all arms of ground forces fire power at Roodewal,as well as a cannon and rocket strike from a Rooivalk Helicopter. A single gripen flew directly over the crowd with full afterburner as it reached for the Limpopo night skies filled with dropping flares,a oryx helicopter following next with a flare drop to close off this years Armed Forces Day Capability demonstration.

Oryx Helicopter Flares

A very big well done to all members of the South African National Defence Force that made the event possible and abling the media to attend these exciting demo’s!

2 Squadron Gripens to open SONA 2020

The sharp end of the South African Airforce 2 Squadron flying the SAAB JAS39 C and D variants of the Gripen will be opening the State of the Nation Address by the commanding chief South African president Cyril Ramaposa.

Proceedings are set to take place at 19H00 on the evening of 13 February at Palamentary House in Cape Town this coming Thursday.

The Parliament of South Africa is South Africa’s legislature; under the present Constitution of South Africa, the bicameral Parliament comprises a National Assembly and a National Council of Provinces. The current twenty-seventh Parliament was first convened on 22 May 2019

2 Squadron is based at Airforce Base Makhado in the Northern Limpopo Province and led by Officer Commanding of 2 Squadron Lieutenant Colonel Josias “Boerboel” Mashaba.

In previous SONAs the SAAF have played a mighty role in top cover close air support, air policing and flypasts by both Gripen and the Silver Falcons.

Prestige Day Parade Address By Lieutenant General Fabian Msimang

Gracious AIR FORCE 2020 Greetings to you Fellow South Africans and our international guests.
 
About 59 years ago, an infant was wrapped in documents and blankets as the Apartheid security forces stormed his mother’s home looking for sensitive information on the African National Congress.

They were unable to find the well-hidden documents and the baby was spared being orphaned. The infant and family were smuggled out of the country to follow his exiled father. He grew up dislocated from his homeland, growing up thinking that his country was a myth that only existed in the lived experiences of his elders. The boy was schooled in foreign countries with their welcoming arms, and different languages. Fast forward…….

The boy grew into a young man who was trained with many other young men and women in the fight for an equal democratic society, grounded in revolutionary love for their people. The man would eventually return to his home land with the ghosts of many comrades sown into his skin.  He had to put aside past differences in the new nation and work towards a common future goal as enshrined in the newly birthed Constitution whose Preamble states:

“We, the people of South Africa,
Recognise the injustices of our past;
Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;
Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country;
and
Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, UNITED in our diversity.”

Today, at the tail end of the 25 year celebrations of our Young Democracy and also the 25 year Celebration of the formation of the new South African National Defence Force and its various Arms of Services, that young man, now bald and before you, has the honour of addressing all those who could attend. But I would be remiss if I didn’t first pay tribute to all our brave women and men in uniform who are in other lands and on the home front, serving our People and safeguarding our national interests.

And taking a moment of silence for those fallen heroes of democracy who no longer stand with us – we remember you. 

We are the writers of our future, shaped by our consciousness, our history and our experiences as individuals and as part of various communities.  As we today grapple with our complex PRESENT which is informed by our difficult and painful PAST, we are duty bound to create conditions to build a strong foundation for a better and promising FUTURE we the people of South Africa all yearn for.

I stand here before you as the 21st Air Chief in the pre and post 1994 history of the South Air African Force; and the 5th Air Chief of the South African Air Force in the new dispensation – this is your Air Force, the Peoples Air Force.

It is therefore my singular honour and privilege today to welcome you all to this year’s celebration of the South African Prestige Parade under the theme “Embracing Our Collective Heritage” celebrate nation-building, social cohesion, freedom, peace and unity with you.  

My prayer today is, as we acknowledge the history of our Air Force and as we celebrate 25 years of a democratic SAAF, may we rise to the occasion to help the nation dissolve the barriers of race, religion and political divide. May we embrace our differences with understanding and compassion. Our museums on all the bases have captured the time line of the history of the SAAF to date, with a deep sense of neutrality and in totality, indeed there is always room for improvement.  

In the spirit of collective heritage and social cohesion, I invite you all to participate in the country’s nation-building efforts where we observe days of honor and remembrance with appropriate ceremonies and in context.  As we make the history of the SAAF pre 1994, we must be mindful of the glaring human rights violations that occurred.

Formation of the Union of South Africa’s Air Force
In 1917 sent by Prime Minister General Louis Botha to London to attend the Imperial Conference, General Jan Smuts presented a report to the British Parliament which became known as the “Smuts Report” stated, inter alia;
“Air Service on the contrary, can be used as an independent means of war operations far from and independently of, both Army and Navy.”
General Jan Smuts soon summoned Sir Pierre van Ryneveld to London and was told:

“I want you to go back out to South Africa and start an air force”. 
Subsequently, South Africa received an Imperial Gift that comprised of 113 aircraft and included steel frames for 20 hangars and everything else required to start and operate an air force. The consignment was sent here to where we currently stand, an airfield that was named Swartkop, the oldest active military airfield in the world today.  Some of the Imperial Gift Hangars are still in daily use as you can see.

REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA 1994 TO 2020 AND INTO THE FUTURE
A CORE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STATE


Is to both secure the State and to protect its citizens. We thus accord the Armed Forces, the Intelligence Services and other Security Services the duty to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State and to ensure that the Authority of the State is duly maintained and exercised.
Section 227(1)(a) of the Interim Constitution (1993) thus pronounces that one of the functions of the Defence Force is:

“For service in the defence of the Republic, for the protection of its sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
However, as we enter the epoch of the 3rd and 4th Industrial Revolutions, we begin to sense that such developments, and the changing nature of the world affairs, will pose immense challenges for the State and its citizenry.

It is my view that our traditional view of sovereignty and security is challenged due to the digital explosion of the 3rd and 4th Industrial Revolutions; this through increasing globalisation, integrated and inter-reliant economies and our inter-dependence on each other within the global world.

Globally, most Air Forces have always been at the cusp of technological development, and the 4th Industrial Revolution will place even more prominence on the role that our Air Force must play in the development and maintenance of South Africa’s industrial and technology base as well as the inter-connectedness of systems.

The evolving role of the Armed Forces must be informed by our understanding of sovereignty, the value-exchange between the State and the citizenry and the changing nature of conflict.

CONSIDERING THE FUTURE

With the birthing of democracy, the South African Air Force began a new era in 1994. Transformation over the past two and a half decades has brought about a change in composition, structure, and hardware with a new vision since 2013 of “An Air Force that Inspires Confidence”.
The security landscape within which we find ourselves since the new dispensation, is rapidly developing in a manner challenging to our traditional views of sovereignty and security.

The legacy capabilities, platforms, doctrine and tactics of the Defence Force which we inherited in 1994, was a Defence Force fundamentally and rigidly orientated towards and postured on conventional warfare, with frameworks rooted in Cold War thinking and the legacy thinking of the Second World War.

We must now ask ourselves if these remain appropriate for the conflicts that we may face in the future, bearing in mind that the emerging security dimensions will continue to challenge the readiness and preparedness of our security structures?
We must increasingly focus our energies on the future trajectory and nature of such conflict, including both the means and methods of both the “old” and “new” wars.

We are thus forced to question if our dogged obsession and unwavering focus on conventional military capabilities, platforms, doctrine and tactics indeed have future relevance?

A BALANCE OF HARD & SOFT POWER

National Security must have at its crux the traditional responsibility for the protection and continuance of the sovereignty of the State, its political and economic independence and the protection of its institutions, values and freedoms.

However, the architecture on which any future National Security Policy is built must be broad enough to encompass the consolidation of democratic liberalism; the pursuit of political and social justice; economic development; environmental sustainability; and the combatting of crime, violence and instability.

We must therefore examine carefully the Mandate of the Armed Forces to ensure that the Armed Forces are, and remain, pertinent and relevant to all these dimensions.

DELIVERING HUMAN SECURITY TO A DEVELOPMENTAL STATE

We must reflect on the fundamental contribution that Defence makes to the Sovereignty of the Republic of South Africa and the maintenance of the Authority of the State.

As elucidated in the South African Defence Review 2015, we find ourselves within a broadened and expanded security paradigm which has a particular emphasis on the well-being of the citizenry.
The legitimacy of the State in the eyes of the citizenry will thus be the sustaining factor that ensures the survival and continuance of the State.
The State will furthermore have the obligation to facilitate, if not create, the environment and the necessary conditions for the fulfilment of human security and economic prosperity.

Policy should express both how the execution of mandated defence functions and other specific initiatives can, in certain circumstances, contribute to the perceived legitimacy of the State and the human development and security of the citizenry.
Given the above deliberations, I posit that paramount to the relevance and readiness of the military to contribute to both the Defence of the State and the Protection of its People must be at the forefront of future military planning.

THE FUTURE THAT OUR YOUTH DESIRES

This younger generation indeed ascribe legitimacy to the State based on its ability to deliver Human Security to its citizens. This human security paradigm, whilst not discounting our traditional views on sovereignty, is driven by the perceived value that the State delivers to its citizens through a broad Social Compact with them. Some of the dimensions of this social compact and the desires of the youth include:
•  ​Political and legal legitimacy.
•  ​Basic and inalienable rights and freedoms.
•  ​Food and water security.
•  ​Relevant & accessible education systems.
•  ​Modern & Accessible health systems.
•  ​Appropriate basic services.
•  ​Environmental stability.
•  ​Infrastructure and economic development.
•  ​Social cohesion, amongst many others.
·   ​inalienable cultural rights.
·   ​Freedom from gender-based violations

DECLINING PEER-ON-PEER CONFLICT

The three decades since the demise of the Cold War has seen a military focus on operations of a much broader nature.
Internationally we have become preoccupied with counter-terror operations, counter-insurgency operations and stabilisation operations.
Domestically, this has led to evolving capabilities focused on Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW).

We are therefore compelled to first ask ourselves the same question: Has our recent military operational commitments detracted from our core military functions, and if so, what are the consequences thereof for the future of the South African Air Force?

This also begs a second question, namely: What is the probability and possibility of Peer-on-Peer Conflict for the South African Air Force. If so, what integrated capabilities do we require? If not, where should our primary focus lie?

We consequently have to enhance our understanding of the evolving nature of conflict on the African Continent.
Currently, we observe an almost complete lack of State-on-State Conflict on the African continent, with little or no linear State-on-State contestation.

Conversely, we observe growing Intra-State Conflict, often without the presence of a State-Actor (Statutory Force). More often than not we observe the involvement of both irregular and proxy forces as parties to the conflict.

African conflicts of the future are therefore increasingly less likely to involve Peer-on-Peer conventional military conflict. This will in all likelihood be overtaken by an increased focus on both irregular warfare and hybrid warfare, as was recently observed in Libya.
Future conflicts will be trans-national in nature, often involving the use of proxy forces, frequently involving the use of IED’s and often leading to a significant loss of innocent civilian life.

FUNDAMENTALISM AND TERROR

The threat of terrorism, ethnic nationalism and fundamentalism (TENF)  is increasing exponentially.
In many instances, TENF and state-backed jingoism appear to be a push-back against the realities of a globalised world and its impacts on both people and societies, and often with both international and domestic nationalist manifestations.

The threat of terrorism is often troublesome to measure and define; it is consequently difficult to assess the security implications thereof. Notwithstanding that defining terrorism is very problematic, largely due to the distinct ideological bases thereof, the one seminal characteristic is the formidable and gruesome nature of their tactics.

As our Armed Forces modernise and become more technologically advanced, careful attention must be given to having a balanced and broad enough suite of capabilities that can address the challenge of TENF.

Developing a common understanding of the extent of the threat is the first step in coordinating a national and integrated regional counter-terrorism response.

DIGITAL AND CYBERSECURITY

Our daily interface with the “borderless” digital world gives rise to a range of threats and concerns which were not previously part of our security paradigm.

Persistent digital security and cyber threats now continue to dominate the international security agenda, as they increasingly more sophisticated and intrusive.

Such rapidly evolving assaults in the digital domain threaten the very sovereignty of the State and seek to manipulate and destabilise critical information infrastructure, social and mainstream media and the economic and financial machinery that underpin the State.
We are all acutely aware of the significant amounts of personal information freely available on social networking sites.
Defence is not immune thereto.

We are all extremely concerned about the vulnerability of military command and control infrastructure to cyber-attacks and the risk of electro-magnetic disruption to other ancillary military systems. The threats in this environment are rapidly evolving and changing, posing significant challenges for both the cyber-defence and cyber-offence capabilities of the Armed Forces.

In as much as the requisite hardware and software required for these tasks is important, the most important, and often the least resourced is the human dimension thereto.

MIGRATION, NATIONAL BORDERS AND THE MARITIME SPACE

Our borders are the physical manifestation of our national sovereignty. Yet we experience unprecedented illegal cross-border migration, human trafficking, the smuggling of small arms and light weapons, trafficking in stolen goods and property and the illegal harvesting and transfer of natural resources.

Similarly, we are also challenged by maritime crime in our Exclusive Economic Zones, piracy on the High-Seas, the illegal exploitation of maritime resources and the uncontrolled movement of people and goods at sea. The international response thereto has seen Multi-National Joint Task Forces being formed and deployed to high-risk areas. One of the difficulties such task forces face is reliable shared-maritime domain awareness.

ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY

We actively need to address the effects of climate change and increase the sustainability of our environment. Some of the challenges facing developing countries include:

•  ​Regional Famine, as is now predicted by the UN World Food Programme in Southern Africa during 2020.
•  ​Increased access to safe and affordable drinking water.
•  ​Increased access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene.
•  ​Increased access to affordable, reliable, modern and sustainable energy services.
•  ​Transforming high carbon-emitting sectors towards a low carbon economy, especially energy, transport, agriculture and waste management.
•  ​Implementing waste management programmes that increase waste recycling and decrease the incidents of landfill.
•  ​The intensive rehabilitation and restoration of ecological infrastructure across all dimensions (water, soil, air and biodiversity).
•  ​Developing strategic pathways for integrated spatial development and human settlements.

The above challenges are as relevant to the Armed Forces as they are to the rest of society.  We are proud of our members that we provided a critical role in the flooding disaster relief  in Mozambique, KZN, Mamelodi and many other places.
  
However, the burden on the Armed Forces stretches even further, as we know that our soldiers will increasingly be called upon to conduct search and rescue, disaster relief and humanitarian operations both domestically and in neighbouring countries in response to climate change and the attendant risks to environmental sustainability. This places more pressure on the SAAF requiring an increase in personnel and funding, to ensure we are ready to Inspire Confidence and fly to action where and when required.

However, we cannot give proper consideration to the challenges facing us in the future, without making an assessment of the Means at our disposal to position ourselves for the future. Defence can only perform to the extent that it is resourced and funded.

The Department of Defence has been forced to continuously adjust its plans downwards.  This is myopic and short term thinking.  This is dangerous.  The Defence force is the Nations’ Insurance Policy. 
 
CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE FUTURE CONFLICTS:

Perhaps it is now appropriate to commence with a robust discussion on what capabilities, platforms, doctrine and tactics would be most appropriate for future conflicts?

It is crucial that South Africa develops a fit for purpose Defence Force that is agile enough to both physically and intellectually move seamlessly between its traditional mandated tasks and functions (however rare or occasional the requirement) and the demanding new environments of cybersecurity and cyber-resilience, proxy forces, hybrid warfare, transnational crime, climate change, as well as peace support operations to mention but a few.

Crucial to the success of the Defence Force in these complex arenas will be the quality, education and professionalism of its human capital. Fundamental to achieving these goals and objectives will be the full employability of the force, its flexibility in terms of structure and equipment as well as its ability to function effectively within the demands of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the complexity of future conflict.

Key to unlocking the above will be leadership at all levels, from the tactical to the strategic within the Defence Force to the policy decisions which will be vital to and ultimately shape the space for the above to occur.


Professional Military Education and Leadership

The professionalism of the Armed Forces, and specifically at the level of the individual soldier, is absolutely an essential ingredient in the relationship between the State and its citizenry.
One cannot begin to emphasise how important education, training and development will be to the successful and sustained continuance of the Armed Forces of the future. Investment in the best, most appropriate, skilled and professional soldiers, is the most strategic endeavor that the Armed Forces can embark upon.

The continued operation and future sustainability of the hardest working air assets of the SAAF being the Oryx, Rooivalk and C130, rely on an efficient and effective Original Equipment Manufacturer and Technical Design Authority of the Rotary Wing assets. The challenges faced by our local industry, has posed a threat to the sustainability of these assets, thus we call for alignment and cooperation amongst key stakeholders.

To, the planning team for this year’s occasion led by Brigadier Gen Crouse and supported by Brig Gen
Khoase and the Base OC Col Trish Schoeman, thank you very much for your excellent support. I thank all those members who worked tirelessly behind the scene to make this a splendid and enjoyable day – true to Air Force Standards of excellence. 

Credit goes to the Prestige Awards function, we celebrated excellence. The prestige awards recognise exceptional performance among the Units, Bases and Directorates in the South African Air Force.  And the Prestige Unit 2019 cycle AFB ……………., congratulations and well done!  Keep up the outstanding performances.

 A special thank you to the members of the media present here today. We need your support in informing South Africans about the role of the military. Compatriots, the SAAF will always be at your service!  This is your Air Force and we re-dedicate ourselves to serve the Nation and renew our pledge to do our sovereign duty. I thank all the members on parade led by the Parade Commander Lt Col Matthye.  I also thank the South African Air Force Band led by Lt Col Pinnar for adding a touch of elegance and sparkle to this auspicious occasion. To the members on parade, I as a proud and patriotic South African soldier, wish to conclude with a quotation from Tata Mandela of the 20th of april 1964 ….

Long before he became our first Commander in Chief of our democratic South Africa – lest we forget; ”during my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.

But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”A baby, wrapped up in documents and blankets, whose parents and forbearers could only dream about what equality looked like, a boy who could only dream about what home smelled like, who can now dream 100 years to the future.

I have a dream of an air force that is configured and resourced to push the envelope to “space” operations.
I have a dream of an air force that continues to adhere to its key principles of speed, agility and precision with high tech beyond nanotechnology of today

I have a dream of an air force that will be one that is able to have a multi domain command and control capability that not only operates in the current domains of outer space and cyberspace, but one that will be agile enough to adapt and change as technology develops.

I have a dream of an air force that will employ more remote controlled platforms and autonomous platforms

Fellow South Africans, fellow SAAF members – in uniform and retired.  Let us take hands and together seek the lessons that inevitably lie in such situations.  Collectively as patriotic South Africans, let us turn our country that is so full of potential, into a dream country that is respected and cherished by all those who live in it. We are all responsible for the good, the bad and the ugly. Protect this country like you protect your homes, nurture it and appreciate it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Your Air Force – The Peoples Air Force which is here to serve and defend you unconditionally. Nurture it and keep it relevant
Let us Love, Respect and Protect our beloved country.
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