The SA Army Reserve along with the Air Defence Artillery Formation has acknowledged and is marking 75 years of air by putting together a publication chronicling the history of air defence in the South African military.
This because air defence artillery this year marked its 75th year of existence going back to 1939 when the first anti-aircraft unit (First Anti-aircraft Battery) was established as part of the Coast Artillery Brigade.
The first anti-aircraft training took place at Brooklyn airfield and at Klaasjagersberg near Cape Point in 1939. The First Anti-Aircraft Battery departed for active service in East Africa in 1940 and during the Second World War gunners of Anti-Aircraft units won the respect of both friend and foe with their courageous actions according to the Air Defence Artillery Formation.
The Formation, in the person of its General Officer Commanding, Brigadier General Jabu Mbuli, is one of a seven member strong history steering group that will ensure the publication becomes reality.
Retired colonel Lionel Crook will author the publication which is envisaged as a three-year project. The focus will be proper research and addressing air defence history since 1994, with special attention to be given to the MK/Apla side of things. The evolution of air defence equipment in South Africa and the projects environment around it will also be part of the publication.
Documentation, photographs or other material that can contribute to the publication can be sent to ADA Formation Chief of Staff, Colonel Jacques Baird at [email protected] or on 012 355 2429.