Forty-eight members of the South African Air Force’s (SAAF’s) 85 Combat Flying School (CFS) participated in an air-to-air training exercise at Air Force Base Overberg from 8 November until 6 December 2020.
According to the Camp Commandant Major Phumelelo Ndzuta, the exercise’s objectives were to primarily evaluate air-to-air firing training, requalification of operational aircrew, as well as qualifying the current operational training course for air-to-air firing. To achieve these objectives, six Hawk Mk 120 Lead-In Fighter-Trainer aircraft were deployed in the area.
In addition, Ndzuta said that seven student pilots who were undergoing the Operational Training Course (OTC) at 85 Combat Flying School, were put to the test to qualify.
Notwithstanding the unfavourable weather conditions, which had a negative impact on the programme, approximately 140 hours were flown during the exercise.
One of the students on the course was Major Mandisa Mfeka. She said that the exercise was challenging, empowering yet fascinating at the same time.
Ndzuta commended all involved for being supportive in ensuring that the exercise itself became a success. “It was through your hard work, commitment, loyalty, dedication, and the passion you had to serve the country that made us achieve our objectives,” he said. “I urge you to remain patriotic to achieve more,” he concluded.
Written by Captain Thomas T Mulaudzi and Flight Sergeant Corne Swart/SA Air Force.