Joint change of command parade for two SAAF squadrons


Air Force Base (AFB) Durban, the lone SA Air Force (SAAF) operational facility in KwaZulu-Natal, staged a double change of command event in line with austerity measures first adopted in the service in the early 2000s.

The Durban base, now the lone aviation component of what was once a busy international airport, has a new boss for its resident 15 Squadron as well as a new officer commanding those responsible for base security – 508 Squadron.

The new man in the proverbial right hand seat at 15 Squadron is Lieutenant Colonel Darryl Sloan, who was handed command of the helicopter squadron by Director Helicopter Systems, Brigadier General Isaac Moreetsi, on 16 March. He takes over from Colonel Lennon Atchanna.

The same parade saw Major Ambrose Jones take charge of 508 Squadron from Major Relias Mogale.

Moreetsi’s words of welcome to Sloan, as reported by AFB Durban Corporate Communication, included “command is often defined as having the authority or power. However, with command, the definition requires more than just power or authority”. He further said: “It is the authority temporarily entrusted on a commander to care for and lead people. In order to do that, one needs to understand the various roles in the organisation and value them”.

Austerity measures for the SAAF were first put in place by then chief Carlo Gagiano during his seven year plus term as a three-star responsible for South Africa’s air power between 2005 and 2012.

Since then the senior position at air force headquarters has been held by Fabian Msimang (2012 to 2020), Mzayifani Buthelezi (acting from September 2020 to June 2021) with Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo the current incumbent.