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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2011, 08:58 
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prion wrote:
H1017412 wrote:
prion wrote:
It is one . This is the SA prototype. The PZA Loara is tracked


Interesting - I imagine that that turret would create a fairly large silhouette, reminiscent of a Sovet KV2.



Yep. The silhouette is quite large. Do not forget that the ZA-35 had a signature from its ESD-S ETS 2400 system. But the KV-2 was a lumbering AT system. But as you know AA defence would not be frontal deployed. It is a rear echelon asset.


By the way there are still rumours going around that the PZA Loara was based on the ZA-35. The Polish even had the SAHV missile as a final short-list development system.


*nods* I wonder what the chances are of this prototype being further developed? Wheels would definitely suit our conditions better, travel further and at lower maintenance cost.

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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2011, 13:09 
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The Russian KV-2 was a SPG and its function on the battle field was to destroy AT guns and fortifications, it was not a AT gun as such, but Russian SOP was if it can shot, you can shot tanks with it as well. The turret could not be traversed without problems on unlevel ground due to its very high centre of gravity because of the height of its turret.

As one Luftwaffe ground attack pilot said, attacking Allied ground targets was not bad, as like German troops all took cover and let the AA gunners blast away, when attacking Russians everyone and everything shot at you with anything, the amount of iron in the air was indescribable, he went on to say they would have thrown horse shoes at us, if they could have got them off the horses in time.


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2011, 13:36 
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One has to admire the fighting spirit of the Soviets. They paid the heaviest price for ultimate victory,

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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 12 Feb 2011, 11:13 
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W407594F wrote:
The Russian KV-2 was a SPG and its function on the battle field was to destroy AT guns and fortifications, it was not a AT gun as such, but Russian SOP was if it can shot, you can shot tanks with it as well. The turret could not be traversed without problems on unlevel ground due to its very high centre of gravity because of the height of its turret.


Yep. I was not thinking when I posted above. But just one thing , the KV-2 was only allowed to fire HE shells with a reduced propellant charge and it was prohibited to fire AP or as they put it "anti-concrete" shells. It was the recoil from these shells that jammed the KV-2's turret.


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 12 Feb 2011, 20:17 
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Roger the Dodger wrote:
Sorry Meerkat but that photo is a fake. It's a (quite bad) photoshop of a Loara turret combined with a Rooikat chassis. The site where you found it - satruth.co.za - is a notorious right wing nutcase site.

Right. The original photo that they photoshopped is this one. I presume this is a photo of the 105mm prototype?
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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 29 Apr 2011, 23:35 
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Reading these posts brings back memories. I was a 2nd LT national serviceman at 250 ADAG in 1989/1990. Three months basic training started in February 1989 at Valhalla Beach straight out of matric. I was in Flight 10, 4 SQN, which placed our lines close to the mess but far from the perimeter fence. This meant a long hazardous run on the return leg from unauthorized social expeditions. 6 SQN occupied the tents along the fence and a shout of "AWOL bastards!" was the first thing you heard when you hit the fence at a sprint. We received our mustering at the end of basics and an ADAG posting was much feared by all. I felt extremely unfortunate at the time. From Valhalla we were packed off to Airspace Control School at AFB Waterkloof. Once we got there, about 50 (?) of us were sent off for a series of interviews (with the Colonel inter alia) for a place on officer’s course – I had not expected this. Nine of us were selected for the 3 months officer forming course at SAAF College starting in May. We spent the month of April at Waterkloof doing a primary radar course at Airspace Control School, being tortured with scary stories (mostly from gleeful NCO's) about how we badly we were going to kak off and that we wouldn't make it anyway, so why bother? The evidence, in fact, was on their side, as only one guy from nine ADAG guys had got through the previous course (Lt Nigel someone?)

Officer’s Course kicked off with "Operation Gogga"; essentially three and a half days in the bush without sleep, running, crawling, writing essays, stand up, fall down, rollover. Quitters were invited to drink beer and braai with officers. After GOGGA properly thinned the ranks, we were placed in classes. Unlike army JLs, all SAAF candidates went to SAAFCOL, so we had a mixed bag from units across the SAAF, with ages ranging from 18 to 35ish. Instructors at SAAFCOL were officers drawn from various active units - we got Major Ray Barske, a chopper pilot. Simply, we all shat ourselves - he was the scariest person I had met in life until then. Officer’s course was weird in hindsight; you worked harder than you had ever worked in your life (before or since), got F!@#ed around relentlessly, did a cheese and wine course and ate 3 course meals at the officers mess (Lord Milner's Manorhouse in Voortrekkerhoogte). Five of us made it through officer’s course and it was back to Airspace Control School. Here we linked up with air traffic control guys who had also got through and spent a pleasant couple of months doing interesting courses with minimal discipline and the freedom to more or less come and go as we pleased; I remember subjects like meteorology, navigation, air law and ATC. I came tops in the academic stuff so was pretty confident when I tried my luck at getting my mustering changed to ATC (I mean, the Plaas versus working with pretty girl ATCs?) That trick had been tried before with about as much success. It was still going to be ADAG for me.

Our Cactus training started at Waterkloof. We did everything from vehicle maintenance to weapons training. We learnt all the technical aspects of the AU and FU and were trained on manning and operating all the positions in a Cactus crew. Other subjects included a more advanced radar course, electronic warfare, counter measures, counter counter measures etc., engagement rules and procedures. We studied pictures of enemy aircraft and learnt about their capabilities. At that point we got news that the ANC had been unbanned and Nelson Mandela was to be released – this was followed by an announcement that national service was to be changed from 2 years to 1 year for future intakes. Unfortunately for us, we were only going to get ours cut to 18 months. What it did mean is that we got the troops from the first one year intake that August – basics had been reduced to 6 weeks and the SADF was not prepared for it – essentially it was a shambles. The poor guys in that intake effectively got to do basics all over again when they got to Waterkloof and another full go when they got to ADAG at Hammanskraal. I remember a Flight Sergeant "Platkop" during this stage, who couldn't NAV his way out of a paper bag during exercises. As candidate officers, we spent a lot of time running and kaking off, especially when we had exercises in the veld – everyone wanted a piece of the action whilst there was still an opportunity. Mostly, we held very few grudges, but there were a couple of scores I did end up settling with interest later on. We spent a lot of time drunk and enjoyed are last days in Pretoria before heading up to the Plaas near Hammanskraal.

When the five of us got to the Plaas, the officers had organised an evening function at the officer’s pub to welcome us - it appeared that the stories had been exaggerated. All was collegial until a Commandant (the guy who played hooker for ADAG and who stood on Lt Cox's neck on another social occasion?) threw a brandy and coke into a fellow COs face, which was a signal for the real entertainment to begin. We physically rolled more than 2 km down the dirt road outside the main gates, puking all the way as our new best mates strolled behind us. The next day we were offered a tour of the Plaas, which sounded great. The offer included a helicopter ride (sheez!), radios (TR thingies?) to let the mess know when lunch was ready and rifles to harvest some Guinea Fowls. This seemed a bit strange. Well, the helicopter was a Cactus missile case, the radios concrete blocks and the rifles iron bars, which we then took (carried) on a 2 day tour to the far corners of the Plaas. This included sightseeing at a dam where we built a pyramid of rocks in the middle and press-ups with the down position underwater. Finally, were told to drop all the shit and given a cut-off time to gap it back to the farmhouse where we stayed. When we got there, all the officers had again gathered and offered us a beer. We politely declined; until it was pointed out that we were paying for it anyway, after which we slowly realised that our induction was over. Life improved dramatically - the farmhouse we lived in was off to the left of the dirt road to the south side of the base – it was fantastic. We had big rooms, a TV, VCR and a braai area outside.

We carried on training at 120 SQN, with more focus on our role as future leaders of a missile unit made up of 1 AU and 2 FUs. Life was pretty boring by day. Major Bonsai Baobab (I forget his real name) was in charge at 120 with 2 PF LTs, Pelser and another guy. A lot of shit got spoken on the tax payers’ money. Tea at the officer’s mess each morning was a lottery for a candidate officer – it all depended on the mood of the senior officers. The Colonel (?) was a decent guy. Apart from the Cactus people, there was the blonde major that did bodybuilding and always had a cold (he was paraat, but a nice guy), the Commandant who liked assaulting looties and a few others I can’t remember. Exploring the farm in Gharries was good fun (we each got an ancient vehicle; the prize was the one with a faulty odometer where tracking the fuel consumption was more difficult) – until someone made the mistake of taking pictures of unconventional river crossings. The punishment was a favourite ADAG passtime, running around blind at full speed with a Hilda missile system dome over your head (in 35 deg), whilst being “remote controlled” by the 2 PF loots into head on collisions.

Life was great after 4 pm, the camp was deserted by the senior officers, who were bussed home to Pretoria, and left in charge of junior officers, candidate officers and NCOs. We hardly ever ate dinner in the mess and mostly “bought” braai packs from the mess and made a fire. Often we would take a Gharrie and braai somewhere else on the Plaas. We drank every night. Although there were a number of pubs for a base with only a couple of hundred personnel (I think there was an officers pub, 2 NCO pubs and a troops pub), everyone more or less converged on one of them after the evening was well underway. An ADAG legend was Sergeant Major Lubbe. He was an enormous guy with huge hands and knew a lot about Cactus. He also flattened the better part of 2 bottles of Squadron rum on a daily basis. He was a bit scary but good value to chat to; he always nominated a troop to make sure he got back to his bed. Another legend who was respected by all was Sergeant Major Skippy Scheepers, who had his face badly burnt rescuing people from a burning chopper/plane. He was a great source of encouragement to us as candidate officers and I looked up to him, particularly before we were about get commissioned as 2nd Lts – he knew that it was tough being a 19 year old officer and having to maintain authority and dignity over much older and vastly more experienced NCOs, some of whom were always trying to undermine you. I always remember him saluting me smartly as an officer, when I felt that it should have been me doing the saluting.

We had a lot of fun when we had the camp to ourselves. We would rotate turns as officer on duty in the evenings and horribly abuse state resources. On one occasion, the fire engine was used to fetch girls from the Waterkloof and then take them back much later after a big party at the house. On a different occasion, we deployed the radar, Cactus and Hilda units a couple of km’s from the camp for exercises. A cable was laid to the base for comms; a sergeant who was a good drinking buddy linked this up to the phone jack in the duty room. I remember chatting to my girlfriend at Maritzburg varsity under the stars in the middle of the bush long before cell phones were developed. AWOL discipline was rarely enforced by the officer on duty. Apart from newbie troops, the Ou Manne came and went pretty much as they pleased after dark. Our Commission Parade finally came and was a big do. A lot of time and effort went into drilling and rehearsing. I felt really guilty in the pub in the evenings that this was all for us – I always despised drilling more than any form of afkak and would totally have understood resentment, although no-one showed any – at least openly. I was also terrified I’d F!@# it up because I’d always been so crap at drilling and whole base was going to be there in full blues, visiting senior officers, families etc. Anyway, all went ok on the day and we threw away the hateful CO bands for good and replaced them with a single pip on each shoulder. The base partied hard that evening. I awoke hanging upside down from the back of a vehicle with someone holding my feet and another person saying “pasop, jy gaan die Leutenant se kop slaan”. It sounded weird.

Our national service dragged on and slowly wound down with training courses carrying on right up until the end. For us national servicemen, this was the end of a phase of life with a new one about to begin. For all the bitching and moaning at the time, I have great memories and I think some of the lessons I learned along the way have helped me in other spheres of life. Whenever I drive past the Carousel Plaza these days on the N1, I look at the red and white communications tower that used to stand in the middle of the base (not sure what’s there now) and remember shot-gunning beer near the top of it one night more than 20 years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2011, 10:23 
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Great post Bravo Zulu ... an awesome read !!! Welcome to the forum :smt023

Jeez, I remember those carefree & irresponsible days well :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 03 May 2011, 09:59 
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Hi Bravo Zulu. Good gracious, the order of training changed a lot from when I did my training at 250 ten years earlier in 1979. We did our field orientation, driving, Cactus, etc. training at The Farm directly after basics and not under the auspices of Air Space Control School, but 250 ADAG itself. Candidate Officers were also only selected and sent onto Officers course after qualifying on Cactus or Hilda. Although I did not go on Officers training myself, I think our guys only spend some time at SAAFCOL. They did not do the basic radar course, etc you described and all of them made it through the course, so perhaps they raised the standard of the course later on. But your description of the Cactus course and life at The Farm sounds very familiar. Things clearly did not change much in that department, also not the attitude of some officers and NCO’s. I remember Sergeants Major Lubbe and Scheepers very well. Lubbe was a Sergeant when I was there and drinking just as much as you described. I am actually surprised that he made it to Sergeant Major because he always caused such a lot of kak. He was as strong as an ox and used to come into our tents late at night, pissed out of his mind, and turned all our beds upside down, with us inside our beds fast asleep. The next morning he was shouting commands on the parade ground again as if he had a peaceful night of rest. I can also testify for your observations of Sergeant Major Scheepers. The man was an exceptional human being and a true hero.


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 11 May 2011, 16:31 
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Hi Propeller,

Yep, I'm sure much stayed the same. My only regret was that I never got to do the St Lucia camps after national service ended. I remember a couple of civilain force captains arriving at ADAG for a camp, with fishing rods attached to their car roofs and not looking overly stressed about a month away from their jobs and wives! If you have boys and time on your hands, no matter how unpleasant things seem, you will definitely still have fun. I remember Wednesday afternoon was sports pass and I started flying with Defence Flying Club - it must have been very cheap because we were only earning a couple of hundred bucks a month, although it was once unfairly (and unkindly) suggested that landies with faulty odos helped subsidise petrol expenses. I flew with Cmdt Mig du Toit (at that time). He was so tough (but an excellent instructor) that a throw-away compliment about cross wind landings could stand out as one of your life's proudest moments. In any case, there was an arguement at 250 late one night about whether the radars at Waterkloof or Pietersburg could pick up a plane at really low level over the farm; at the time, west of the N1 was civilian, east was military. In any case, I decided to put it to the test late one Wednesday afternoon. I flew as low as I could over the highway in a C150 aerobat, scooted over the farm and gapped it back as quickly as possible. We never heard anything, but I shat myself every day for a whole month, picturing what they would do to me and the gleeful look on the faces of some of those PF sergents if I was bust. My mates at varsity certainly had the pick of the girls, but we had better toys!

Bravo Zulu


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 17 May 2011, 10:48 
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Thanks guys -that was an awesome read. =D>


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 21 May 2011, 10:47 
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I was surfing the net last night and came upon this website and discussions on 250 ADAG (or ADU as it was known in my time). I would like to share some of my memories with you:

Ek is na my basies in 1976 by die Lugmag Gim in Maart by 250 LVE op Waterkloof ingedeel. Die rowers het in tente, wat langs die troepmenasie opgeslaan was, geslaap. Bungalows was vir die oumanne bedoel. 250 was toe `n baie jong eenheid. Dit was maar die vorige jaar gestig. Kmndt GHJS van Rooyen was ons OC, die Eskaderbevelvoerder was Lt. Swanepoel en ons vlugkorporaal was Hein van Niekerk.

`n Week na ons aankoms het ons begin rugby speel en ek is vir die 250 rugbyspan gekies wat op Devon aan die Marconiweek deelgeneem het. Ons het die Marconitrofee gewen en Lt. Swanepoel, wat ook ons afrigter was, het vir al die spelers `n 2 dae pas gegee. Ek het `n geleentheid saam met die manne van SRS Mafikeng gekry en is daarvandaan huis toe vir 3 dae.

Na ons Hilda opleiding, was ek deel van `n groep wat gekies was om `n offisierskursus te doen. Die dag waarop ons, ons pips gekry het, is ons met `n Vlossie na Grootfontein. 250 was tydens Ops Savannah op Grootfontein, Rundu en Ondangwa ontplooi en, wat min mense weet is dat daar ook van ons manne op Serpa Pinto in Angola was. Ops Savannah het teen middel 1976 ten einde geloop en ons het met `n konvooi van 100 voertuie en toerusting uit Grootfontein vertrek. Dit het ons 5 dae geneem om Pretoria toe te ry. Ek was konvooileier in `n 10 Seater en het my tyd vol gehad met die manne wat met `n baie "nafie" houding op pad was States toe.

By ons terugkeer was ons 3 in beheer van die opleiding van die nuwe inname. Die legendaries sterk Kpl. Lubbe (later Samajoor) was een van my korporaals. Ons was besig met Hildaopleiding aan die westekant van die Noordelike Gereedheidsplatform op Waterkloof toe 3 Impalas vanuit die noorde inkom op finale nadering. Ewe skielik het die middelste Imp sy vlerk afgeswaai en in `n stof en vuurbal voor ons oë in die grond ingeduik. Lt. Winterbottom het `n birdstrike op finale nadering gehad en is tragies in die ongeluk dood. Op daardie stdium het daar `n klompie PF KO's by 250 aangesluit - Johan v Heerden (later OC), Gerber, Hennie Harris en Kotze.

Cactus was op daardie stadium `n baie geheime wapenstelsel en jy moes `n PF wees om na Cactus oorgeplaas te word. Twee van ons het besluit om PF aan te sluit en is na Kapt Eddie Marais se 120 eskader oorgeplaas. Tony Morkel was die eenheid se opsoffisier, Geyer was in beheer van logistiek, Fido Botha was by Hilda opleiding en Johan Lehmann het as Lt by die eenheid aangesluit en saam met ons Cactus opleiding ondergaan. Ons was steeds in die Noordelike Gereedheids hanger maar is later oorgeplaas na die Suidelike gereedheidshanger. Hier het `n Ao. Gous, Sers Viljoen en Kpls. Jakes Jacobs, van Rensburg en Lubbe later saam met ons deel van die Cactus opleidingspan uitgemaak.

Die jaarlikse hoogtepunt was Ops Tappit tussen St. Lucia en Sodwanabaai. Hier was hoogtepunte en laagtepunte in die eenheid se wapenontwikkeling en die eenheid se geskiedenis eervaar. Hilda misiele is afgevuur op teikens wat deur dakotas getrek is. Cactus het op modelvliegtuie wat deur die SA Vloot gevlieg is geskiet en later het ons eie manne probeer om `n teiken van `n AS20 missiel te maak - dit was maar katastrofies - ek en Kmndt van Heerden het een hele aand in die moerasse gesoek na `n Kpl. Andre Rabie wat verdwaal het en in een van die krokedilgeinvesteerde meertjies gaan inry het. Hy het amper die hele nag op sy Garry se dak deurgebring. Dit was die einste Kmndt van Rooyen wat met die volgende Ops Tappit saam met Sers. Skip Scheepers van Tappit af vertrek het met `n Frelon helikopter en in die berge by Sheepmore vasgevlieg en verongeluk het. Skip het tydens hierdie ongeluk geweldige brandwonde opgedoen. Kmdt van Rooyen is dieselfde week in Pretoria begrawe - ek en `n klein groep het op Tappit agtergebly om die basis aan die gang te hou, Tappit het na die begrafnis voortgegaan. Ek het Skip in die ou 1 Mil op Voortrekkerhoogte besoek en hom nie geken nie. Hy het egter wonderbaarlik herstel - `n merkwaardige man, ek hoor vandag nog sy kenmerkende skerp stem as hy op die troepe skree !

Ek sluit eers af - sal later met julle ons ondervinding van Pienaarsrivier, nog lank voor dit die "Plaas" was deel.


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 21 May 2011, 10:59 
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Welcome Whiskey Echo and many thanks for your post. :smt023


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 22 May 2011, 20:53 
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It's really good to read everyones stories in this thread. It makes me realise what a k*k memory I have. I spent three years at Devon and all I have are a few isolated memories. I tried to remember where exactly the entrance to the underground part was and looked the site up on google earth but my memory failed me. I'm hoping that they built some new building between when I left and now because there were a lot of buildings I didn't remember.

Please keep the stories coming, it's really interesting,

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 19 Jun 2011, 15:32 
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This sure brings back memories - called up to Valhalla Beach in Jan 1981. Did all those tests - answered every one referring to dogs in the negative - didn't want to stand beat and clean dog cages. One fateful day after our passing out parade we assembled on the main parade and had a our musterings called - could not understand why all the PF PTI's were laughing at me. Got the nod to the Plaas.

Couple of days later we were fetched by an old bus and a mercedes truck - guess what - they both broke down on the gravel road after the ostrich farm. Eventually got to the Plaas in full blues that had a distict orange tinge.

Re-did basics with my buddy the concrete block - slept in the tents - had cold showers in the heart of winter. Did Hilda course including lunging the Onan generator around and gashing my nuckles trying to start it.

12 of us national service guys got selected for officer course at the Safcol. Coming from the Plaas, the opf#@k on officers course was nothing and we all got through that part. Near the end of officers course, 3 got washed for various reasons. We had quite a few other people on the courses including woman (and SGM Mountjoy's son) - first time we were in close contact with the fairer sex since leaving high school.

Went back to the Plaas as a CO and did more advanced Hilda planning - we got to lay out the nine sets around a central hub (I remember us using Waterkloof and driving all over the suburbs around the base). Hilda was a point defence missle systems - the enemy had to come to it. So although it was sub -sonic etc, if it put a plane off it's bombing run, then it had achieved it goal. Also, the #2 guys (the guy in the bin) were pretty good. We had lots of hits at St Lucia. Actually more Hilda got hits than Cactus at St Lucia.

We also used timex'ed missiles at St lucia - so some did not excatly do what was asked of them. Like the one that only did half a roll and then dug a crater when the controller gave an up control. Remember the crocodile that walked into the officers bar and bit onto the bar rail (or something - memory going a bit). We used to tow the units behind the garries - but the troops had too many accidents and wrote a number off (even at 40km/hr).

As CO's we lived in the house east(or north east) of base - we had a guy who cleaned and washed. I had a Cactus parachute as a canopy in my room. I remember SGM Mountjoy having one last go at us the day before our passing out parade. He said we had to plant the flag pole - the guys had been grading and compacting the parade ground at the Plaas and it had been removed. But we gippo'ed and I managed to get a auger from the construction guys - the work was done and we were in a bar in a flash. I also remember as CO's and as 2nd Lt's, we had to man the officers bar for a week at a time.

Remember the 42 battalion parabats jumping from low level north of the camp. I remember one guy having to use his emergency chute - he disappear below the trees before his chute opened. Scary.

Remember the rock hard rugby feild ove at the police college - coming from the Eastern Cape, I had never played on a hard field. Man that hurt to be tackled and go down.

Who remembers the Cactus guys going to the Rand Easter show and scoring with the chicks in the airconditioned AU?

I went St Lucia in 82 and we also went to Messina with the radar guys and the Imps. In late 82 (Aug - we left Pretoria with it snowing and arrived in Grooties dressed with all our uniforms) we were deployed to Oshikati by Flossie and then drove back - in late Sept. I remember the first night we were revvved - they were apparently aiming for the powerstation that was nearby.

After that it was really Louie the min dae train time - except when one of my troops (and he was an ouman) shot another through the stomach at the main gate! Buggering around on guard duty.

Ended up doing my camps at Southern Air Command.

Everytime I look at my drivers licence, I still reminded of getting it one Wednesday on sports parade in Warmbaths. Drove around the block and then took the guy for a beer.


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 19 Jun 2011, 18:04 
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Great stuff Luppies, welcome. :smt023


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