CAF unveils new SAAF vision

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Instead of celebrating outstanding achievements by SA Air Force (SAAF) personnel, Thursday’s Prestige Evening was the platform for CAF Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo to introduce a new vision for the airborne service of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

The COVID-19 pandemic put paid to the awards as the disruption it caused meant senior air force officers could not perform what Mbambo called “objective assessments”.

The award ceremony is postponed “for the future” with an assurance from CAF a way will be found to show appreciation to SAAF personnel for “their awesome demonstration of commitment to duty and country” in 2021.

On the new vision for the SAAF, Mbambo said at Air Force Base (AFB) Waterkloof it begins with a mindset, “a determination not to surrender to all the adversity around but to accept a route of a painful change process”.

“The new conceptualised and adopted vision is a daring one. It calls for courage and tenacity from every member of the SAAF. It is a vision that will attract diverse and robust engagement from inside and outside the SAAF because it seeks to stir and challenge our usual thinking patterns. It will cause everyone who hears it to be restless and realise the need for robust participation and its fulfilment,” he said before introducing the audience to the new vision.

It is the projection of effective air and space power capabilities through innovation in the theatre of our operations and will be implemented using the standing SAAF values of excellent, integrity, service before self and human dignity.

“The mountain looms large ahead of the SAAF but I am convinced of the determination and collective tenacity of SAAF members. I am equally encouraged by the solid collective leadership of the DoD (Department of Defence) under the leadership of Minister Thandi Modise.”

As far as challenges facing the air force are concerned Mbambo used a Nelson Mandela quote. The first president of South Africa in the democratic era said when faced with challenges and problems: “It always seems impossible until it is done”.