Fact file: The SA Air Defence Artillery


During World War One (WW1, 1914-1918), the threat posed by enemy aircraft forced all belligerents to allocate to some artillery and machine gun units to the anti-aircraft (AA) function.

Pic: An Oerlikon GDF Mk V air defence gun

  • Mission: To defend combat formations against low-level air attacks in close conjunction with the SA Air Force.


  • Corps colours: Turquoise and scarlet


  • Beret colour: Turquoise


  • Collar badge: Bursting grenade with seven flames


  • Motto: Alta Pete (Aim High)


  • Brief history in SA: The Union Defence Force established its first air defence artillery (ADA) unit in April 1939, when the 1st AA Battery was created as part of the then-Coast Artillery Brigade. In 1944, AA units became part of the SA Air Force, only to be handed back to the SA Army in 1949. Two years later, the traditionally close links between the AA and the Coast Artillery, both were merged into the short-lived first Corps of Marines. The coast artillery was stood down in 1955, and the Marines disbanded. The ADA returned to the Army. The present ADA school and 10 ADA Regt was established in February 1968. The SAADA was established as a separate corps in 1984. The SA Artillery Formation was founded on January 1, 1999.





All Air Defence Artillery regiments are assigned to the SA Army Artillery Formation under the charge of an Officer Commanding (OC).


The OC answers directly to SA Army chief Lt Gen Solly Shoke. Assisting the GOC is a

  • Chief of Staff

  • Chaplain

  • Formation Warrant Officer

  • Personal Staff


The formation is structured as follows:

  • SA Army Air Defence Artillery School, Kimberley1

  • 10 Air Defence Artillery Regiment, Kimberley

  • Cape Garrison Artillery, Cape Town

  • Regiment Vaalrivier, Vereeniging

  • Regiment Oos Transvaal, Benoni

  • 6 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Springs

  • 44 Parachute Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Pretoria


1 Units marked in BLUE are regular fulltime service and those in RED are Reserve Force