Uniformed pastors a new experience for West Coast high school pupils


“Freeing the eagle” is the motto currently providing direction for SA Air Force (SAAF) personnel with Air Force Base (AFB) Langebaanweg leading the way in attracting new recruits to continue keeping the SAAF working in the air and on the ground.

The Western Cape base under the command of Brigadier General Mac Matanda opened its gates to pupils from schools in the vicinity to show and tell them what the SAAF has to offer career-wise. The recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions was, according to Captain Tebogo August and Lieutenant Eleas Koopman, an opportunity to interact with “those who will one day take the country forward and fly the national flag high”.

On seeing and hearing a religious “office bearer” in the form of Chaplain Mandla Mtila for the first time, a number of those visiting the base were said to be “delighted” by pastors in uniform.

In addition to insights on how the SAAF works the high school pupils were treated to an air display by pupil pilots from Central Flying School.  SAAF, particularly Langebaanweg operations, were explained by air traffic controller Major Mwenze using video and a hangar visit.

One school principal who accompanied his senior pupils to the base pointed out it was a first not only to be on an air force base, but any military base.

Another said the day “changed the narrative of what soldiers do and how they contribute to South Africa’s safety”.