SAAF MSD passing out parade

1989

The SA Air Force (SAAF) is for the next 18 months better off personnel-wise thanks to 200 plus additional members officially joining its ranks following a passing out parade at the Air Force Gymnasium outside Hoedspruit.

The parade saw, according to Brigadier General Mongezi Kweta of SAAF Corporate Staff Services, 226 new members formally welcomed into the airborne service of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) located at the Boston facility of Air Force Base (AFB) Hoedspruit in Limpopo.

SAAF Chief Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo attended the parade, which marks the end of six months of basic military training (BMT). One of 227 military skills development (MSD) recruits who made final selection for the airborne service either did not report for duty in March or dropped out.

The new additions to the blue uniform ranks “were introduced to the world of military art” during BMT. This, as per SAAF Corporate Staff Services, covers “musketry coaching, march and drill, physical training, personal hygiene, general military conduct, small calibre weapons, first aid and military law” among others.

In addition to CAF and senior SAAF Command Council officers, the passing out parade was attended by the Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa justice, security and defence cluster. It is made up of local police stations, Maruleng municipality representatives and officers commanding 7 SA Infantry (SAI) Battalion and 5 Special Forces Regiment.

Following BMT, the new SAAF personnel additions will undergo specialist training in any number of musterings before taking on positions as, among others, firefighters and clerks. Once their two-year MSD service is over the majority will leave the SAAF and – hopefully – sign up for the Air Force Reserve with a handful offered contracts as permanent force personnel.