Cuban learning leads to success on SAAF officers’ formative course


A top student in the SA Air Force (SAAF) officers’ formative course 01/2022 ascribed his success to what he learnt while on a Cuban training programme four years ago.

Lieutenant Phakamani Mavimbela is reported by SAAF Ad Astra journalists Corporal Tshimolloyabotshelo Matsha and Lance Corporal Mamogobo Mamabolo as saying: “The skills and knowledge acquired during Officer Commissioning were built on the foundation laid by the Cuban training programme which highlighted esprit de corps”.

The commissioning parade for the new additions to the SAAF officer ranks was held at SAAF College in Thaba Tshwane with Chief of the SAAF, Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo, in attendance.

He told the new officer group, commissioned after a 21 week course, their admission to the officer ranks was “crucial and must always be accorded the correct status”.

Going further, Mbambo told those on parade and spectators the airborne service of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) faced the reality of the current SAAF mindset and approach being inadequate to resolve prevailing challenges.

“The new SAAF approach and mindset is associated with risks and pain, it will be resisted but has enduring opportunities. We are choosing the risky and painful path, cognisance of challenges ahead but will not succumb to stagnation. We are determined to see the SAAF change for the better in honour of those who follow us,” Mbambo is reported as telling the parade.

Top student Mavimbela was honoured with three awards for outstanding achievements on course. He is now the proud holder of the CAF Fitness Trophy, the Leadership Trophy and the Air Squadron Sword of Honour.

No indication is given by the SAAF journalists of how many officers were commissioned, with photographs showing a flight of 24 in ranks of three.