Air Force Prestige Day Parade 2018

By Willie Bodenstein

The opening flypast of two Agusta A109s.

The SAAF this year held its Prestige Day at AFB Zwartkop, a venue that lends itself perfectly to an event of this magnitude.

Chief of the Air Force Lieutenant General Msimang on behalf of the SAAF welcomed everyone at the Prestige Day Parade. "The SAAF is here to serve you, defend you, protect our territorial integrity and safeguard our national interests. The purpose of the SAAF is to deliver security to the people of SA and to strengthen regional, continental and international peace and stability", General Msimang said.

The Prestige Awards recognise exceptional performance among units, bases and directorates in the SAAF and this year AFB Langebaanweg were the winners. Brigadier General Matanda receiving the award from General Msimang.

"The level of defence ambition requires our defence force to be appropriately equipped, resourced and trained in support of South Africa's national security, national interest and foreign policy. The National Defence Force is the nation's insurance policy. Though we did our best with the resources at our disposal, I strongly believe that we can do better. We have what it takes to become exceptional performers and the best at our craft."

The Units Flag Parade.

The Air Force Band Troop.

Gen. Msimang and entourage inspecting the parades.

"The Air Force," Gen. Msimang said, "has always prided itself on it's professionalism, flexibility, commitment and determination to rise to any challenge. The Forces capability requirement is largely informed by the period that it is in. With the current resource constraints we are forced to cut our cloth to size."

Some of the dignitaries.

During 2017 SAAF assets were involved in several SANDF and other high visibility activities which amongst others include: Armed Forces day in Durban, the Air Power Demonstration in Roodewal, Exercise Winter Solstice, an annual SAAF Force Preparation exercise, anti-piracy effort in Mozambique in collaboration with the SAN, firefighting, in Knysna and Port Elizabeth and other areas, Operation Mistral to support the SANDF deployment in the DRC, the SADC exercise Blue Kunene in Namibia as well SADC exercises in Tanzania and in exercise Oxide in Reunion Island.

One of the Wings Parades.

"Last year and early this year, "Gen. Msimang said, "the SAAF continue to hold robust engagement with some entities from our defence industry, to find solutions to reduce their service delivery turnaround time and address aircraft support issues."

The mass helicopter flypast.

A SAAF Casa 212 of 44 Sqdn.

A Pilatus PC 12 of 41 Sqdn.

"With the Rooivalk continuing to prove its prowess in deployments we are readying ourselves to work with the local industry partners to enhance this platform and thus ensure that it remains a renowned and world class combat helicopter to ever grace our airspace."

The Silver Falcons fly past.

A Lockheed Hercules C130 of 28 Sqdn.

The SAAF's outreach program is bearing fruit with a growing number of pilots, engineers and technicians coming from townships and rural areas. The top student from the last Wings Course, Captain Goulezze was a young female engineer from the Western Cape whilst Captain Mfeka who hails from KZN is the first female African to undergo training as a combat pilot.

Two Gripens and two Hawks completed the mass flypast.

Gen. Msimang concluded by thanking and congratulating all the members that took part in the parade for a splendid and sound performance of military discipline and etiquette.

Events 2018
SA Air Force

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