SA Air Force hit by uniform shortage

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South African Air Force members have been told that they will not be issued with new ‘blue’ uniforms for the next two years. Due to financial and supplier issues, all Air Force members, with the exception of Senior Officers and General Officers, are expected to wear camouflage uniforms when on duty.

“All airmen, non-commissioned officers, warrant officers and junior officers at bases and units have been instructed to wear camouflage uniform for the next two years,” Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga, Director Defence Corporate Communication, told defenceWeb.
“This,” Mabanga said, “is a result of (a) combination of financial and supply factors.”

Unconfirmed reports state that the tender for the supply of the traditional blue Air Force uniform was mismanaged and the Air Force does not have the budget to procure new uniforms.

As a result, most members will have to wear camouflage uniforms at meetings and inter-departmental functions. Understandably, this has affected morale within the South African Air Force
“This is embarrassing, how can we wear camouflage to a function when our Navy and Army colleagues are dressed smartly?” one Warrant Officer asked.

Members of the Air Force are supplied with a number of different uniforms, depending on their mustering. All members are normally issued with dress ‘blues’ for office and formal use and camouflage dress for operational and field duties. Bluetria working field dress may also be issued to those members performing maintenance or who work in workshops.