The hours military aircraft and naval vessels spent in the air and at sea during the 2018/19 financial term were both “adjusted” downward according to the latest Department of Defence (DoD) annual report.
The number of hours flown is part of the SA Air Force (SAAF) air defence programme and was targeted at 25 000 hours for the financial year. This changed to 17 870 hours representing 71.5% of the planned target because time in the air is dependent on the number of serviceable aircraft available and taskings received, the report states.
By far the majority of hours flown (14 882) were for force preparation with force employment a distant second on 2 441 hours and VIP hours, attributable only to 21 Squadron, an even further distant third with 545 hours logged.
The annual report notes “the target related to the number of hours flown was adjusted to 17 200 in future planning instruments”.
Similarly the number of hours at sea for SA Navy vessels was “adjusted” to down 10 000 from a target of 12 000 which became an actual 7 704.
This is 64% of planned target and is a result of “the unavailability of vessels at the directed level of capability due to maintenance cycle delays,” according to the report.
Force employment hours were 4 545 – 1 386 more than the number of force preparation hours (3 159).