Fact file: The Technical Service Corps

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Ours is a technical age, requiring increasing numbers of technicians to keep in-service ever-more complex technology.

The Technical Service Corps (TSC) is an exception on the general rule that South African corps are derived from British parents. Although they share similar insignia, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) were only established in 1942. The TSC, by contrast, had been established in its current form in 1939.

·         Mission: To keep operationally fit equipment in the hands of the troops[1] through first, second and third line support.[2] TSC artificers[3] examine, modify, repair and recover all vehicles and other mechanical, electrical and electronic equipment of the Army beyond the capacity of unit non-technical personnel.

·         Corps colours: Red, yellow, blue

·         Beret colour: Black

·         Collar badge: Horse superimposed on lightning bolt

·         Motto: –

·         Brief history in SA: The provision of technical services remained largely ad hoc in SA until the establishment of the Union Defence Force on April 1, 1913, which included the SA Service Corps, the SA Ordnance Corps and the SA Administrative, Pay and Clerical Corps. These were disbanded in the early days of World War Two and out of the ashes, on November 10, 1939, arose a new “T” Services Corps as well as a “Q” Services Corps. In July 1950 the Corps was renamed the Technical Service corps.

                  

Structure

All TSC units are assigned to the SA Army Support Formation.

The corps is structured as follows:

  • Technical Service School, Centurion, Tshwane[4]
  • 30 Field Workshop, Cape Town
  • 31 Field Workshop, Johannesburg
  • 37 Field Workshop, Pretoria
  • 71 Field Workshop, Klerksdorp
  • 101 Field Workshop, Lohatlha
  • 102 Field Workshop, Potchefstroom?



[1] This is the aim of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), from whose heraldry the TSC`s own symbols derive. Charles Heyman, The British Army, A Pocket Guide, 2000-2001, Leo Cooper, 2000.

[2] First line support: unit level, second line: formation level, third line: depot level, fourth line: factory level.

[3] From there the nickname “tiffy” for TSC personnel.



[4] Units marked in BLUE are regular fulltime service and those in RED are Reserve Force