Changes coming for the SAAF

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Change is coming to the SA Air Force (SAAF) with the officer in overall command, Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo, reported as saying it is resisted, but this is “a sign of unpopular progress to be welcomed”.

The three-star general’s comments on the SAAF going forward are contained in a report by Major Ntokozo Ntshangase and Sergeant Lindokuhle Buhlebuzovela Hlomuka. The report was published ahead of an air force medal parade at Air Force Base (AFB) Swartkop tomorrow (Thursday, 25 November).

The media invitation to the parade at the oldest base in the SAAF states, among others, the Chief of the SAAF will remind personnel of the “significant strides and valuable contributions they continue to make in ensuring the people of South Africa are and feel safe”.

Mbambo is expected to “to set the scene for the strategic direction the SAAF is embarking on in his tenure when 2022 ushers in”.

Speaking to SAAF personnel at Swartkop last week as part of his tour of all air force bases and units, Mbambo is reported as saying “the organisation (air force) must gear itself for new heights with renewed vigour”. The new direction for the airborne service of the SANDF is understood to take into account responses to a force-wide survey which allowed for “proper diagnosis” of the SAAF.

The new SAAF vision will, the report has it, be unveiled and adopted “no later than February 2022”. Military aviation watchers speculate it could be the closest Friday in the month to 1 February, accepted as the “birthday” of the air force and marked by a prestige awards function with a parade and flypast.