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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 22 Jun 2011, 09:49 
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Bravo Zulu wrote:
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 al. and coke into a fellow COs face, which was a signal for the real entertainment to begin.

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.

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.


Hah, the bugger who stood on Craig Cox's(RIP) neck and almost snapped him in half at Rundu is most probably Chris Gerber, he always stuffed us around. He was a Major during my time on the farm/border.

Gavin Pelser, sheesh first met Gavin when we were just out of school and I had come up from Cape Town for selection testing, he was my transport driving the Renault 5(I think) without a license! I believe he is still in the SAAF as a Lt Col somewhere. He was often referred to, in his absence, as Lt Pielseer by the NCO's. Good lad he was and rather a good rugby fullback.

Zoff Lubbe, man he could drink. The one night, make that every night, at Rundu he was drinking Sparberry and Rum and the next morning it looked like someone had had there throat slit where he puked. I am impressed that he became a WO, but he was sharp on the Cactus system.

The blond major must be Nic van Eeden, he was the OC of 120 Sqn just before I left for SAC, I am sure Johan Petzer and Andre Robinson must also have been PF Lt's at 120 at this time


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 11 Aug 2011, 20:07 
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Joined: 29 Apr 2011, 19:43
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Spot on Cactus - your memory is much better than mine! Gerber was the brandy tosser and a commandant at the time; van Eeden was the blonde major and it was Petzer I was referring to, not Pelser (what rank and where would Gavin Pelser have been in '89?) - yes Robinson was the other PF loot.


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2011, 14:13 
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Joined: 08 Dec 2011, 13:56
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Propeller wrote:
Yes, and then of course also that huge engine running next to you. But it had a very effective aircon inside, which was needed to cool down the electronic and computer systems (and the operator). So it was actually much more pleasant inside than outside. The engine was basically a diesel generator, supplying electrical power to 4 electrical motors on the wheels and the electronic and computer systems.
The cactus engine was actually a Renault petrol engine!


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 09 Dec 2011, 08:58 
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Joined: 09 Dec 2011, 08:44
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Just joined and it was really interesting to read more on 250 history !! - I was there in '81,'82 - 121 squadron on the Hilda's.
I just remember those bullybeef Skilpadjies we used to get at the mess !!
Would love to see more pictures ( if anyone has more ), at the time we were not really allowed to take pictures...I did one tappet at St Lucia and we deployed at Ondangwa in '82 - flew up with the flossies and drove back down. Went back to Ondangs in 87 (I think it was..) for a camp - just nice to see there's still some (old) fogies out there that remember the days when we were still proud to wear a uniform ( albeit reluctantly !!)


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 09 Dec 2011, 10:16 
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Joined: 03 May 2005, 08:40
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Location: Whangarei, New Zealand
Welcome to the forum Big B!

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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 10 Jan 2012, 18:58 
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Joined: 28 Sep 2008, 21:35
Posts: 121
Location: Port Elizabeth
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/i ... 6439;image

Guys,my apologies if I missed some thread on the topic.What's the story behind this?Prototype only,or did it see service?details?

Some other interesting pics related to topics discussed in this thread:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/i ... ach=146441
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/i ... ach=146442
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/i ... ach=146443
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/i ... ach=146445
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/i ... ach=146447
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/i ... ach=146448
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/i ... ach=146450
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/i ... ach=118407
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/i ... ach=117495
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/i ... ach=118407


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2012, 08:58 
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Joined: 15 Feb 2010, 02:11
Posts: 474
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
curious george wrote:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9088.0;attach=146439;image

Guys,my apologies if I missed some thread on the topic.What's the story behind this?Prototype only,or did it see service?details?
I get a Login request, no pictures without jumping through their hoops. What's the topic name, etc?


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2012, 09:46 
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Joined: 28 Sep 2008, 21:35
Posts: 121
Location: Port Elizabeth
My sincere apologies CheetahSupporter,one sometimes forget these little "technical details"(the "register" process itself is quite painless but is designed to stop spammers,not too many trolls around either lol) .The pic in question is that of a containerised cactus firing unit,with what seem to be "optics",etc.(The other pics in the post are related to issues/types dicussed in this thread.)


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2012, 11:12 
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Joined: 15 Feb 2010, 02:11
Posts: 474
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
When I was around Teklogic / ADS in 1992 or 1993, they were fitting the cactus equipment into containers. I seem to remember the reason (or part of the reason) was that the original French vehicles were really unreliable or unsupportable.

I don't know if they only did a prototype or whether all systems were converted.


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 13 May 2012, 22:40 
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Posts: 121
Location: Port Elizabeth
Pics of cactus deployment at Rundu AFB,1987 posted on f/book.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 015&type=1


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2013, 13:52 
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Joined: 14 Aug 2012, 08:55
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250 ADU 1978
I was drafted into the Air force for my 2 years national service.
After doing basics at Valhalla I was posted to Pienaars river ( 250 ADU)
The camp consisted of tents laid out in lines on red sand a couple of meters from each other.
There was a prefab building where Sergeant major Novel had his office.
There was a portable truck that had 5 showers in it and it was parked near the long drop toilets that were semi covered if it rained.( see picture)
The water tank near the shower had to be filled daily by starting the pump motor that was by the workshop area. The borehole was our only water supply.
Each tent had a single globe suspended in the center and at night the diesel generator was started up to supply electricity. It was like a disco light as it flickered so badly.
The tents sides had to be rolled up for inspection and when the wind blew you had huge dust storms
that sandblasted everything inside the tent.
Your bedding sheets went from white to a reddish brown .On returning to camp after a weekend pass the bed was sometimes wet from the rain.
Basics at Valhalla was a lot easier than being in this hell hole as we were continually messed around by lance corporals and corporals .Therefore our group that is ( technical guys) trained doing the 2.4 km every day. We reported to Sergeant Major Novell who made our life even more hell.
We worked in the day in a Bedford truck trying to fix becca radios and other 2way communication devices.
Therefore we had tent inspection as well as workshop inspection pump inspection and diesel generator inspection.
Saint Lucia
We would leave early in the morning in convoy to Saint Lucia to shoot our Hilda and cactus missiles.
I had turns driving a tac van (most unstable land rover top heavy vehicle ever designed with radio equipment) Never the less we ended up rolling this vehicle.
When arriving at Saint Lucia we had to pitch camp in the mangroves deep in the forest.
The mosquitoes had a feast . some of the guys had to have medical treatment because their eyes lids were so buffed up from bites they could not see.
Eventually we set up Hilda missile launches and prepared for launching them the next day.
Some of the missiles were faulty.
I remember a few missiles that gave problems.
The one missile when fire gave a puff of smoke out of the exhaust and never lifted off the launcher
After waiting some time the Sargent would ask one of us to go with him to disarm the missile.
The other hilder missile did not respond to the radio control joy stick and went its own way turning sharply and that’s when we all ran away.
Some never self destructed and went into the marsh .we had to go and look for them but never found any.
Cactus missiles at this stage never worked we kept on trying to shoot a drone but the missile went its own way.
The flight sergeant and I tried to fix some of the printed circuit boards that he said were faulty.
The following time we went to Saint Lucia the French engineers came along with us and we finally got the cactus missiles to function correctly.


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2013, 15:21 
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Joined: 12 Jun 2011, 14:21
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gavin12 wrote:
250 ADU 1978 ....
The flight sergeant and I tried to fix some of the printed circuit boards that he said were faulty.
The following time we went to Saint Lucia the French engineers came along with us and we finally got the cactus missiles to function correctly.

- So what was the cause in the end, was it wrong circuitry?
- What did the Frenchies have to say?
- With it then functioning properly after repairs, were the missiles fit for purpose?
- Did you ever see it hit a target?

Thanks. :smt023

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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2013, 17:01 
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Welcome Gavin and thanks for sharing your memories. =D>

Herewith the photos received from Gavin:

Image

Image

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2013, 19:34 
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Around '97 I was part of a group that flew down to TFDC to "observe" test firing of the Cactus after it was converted from analogue to digital. We had to wait a few hours for fog and some snoekskuite. I must say that I didn't expect it to go of like a canon, definitely not like in the movies.


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 Post subject: Re: 250 ADAG
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2013, 20:05 
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jfh wrote:
Around '97 I was part of a group that flew down to TFDC to "observe" test firing of the Cactus after it was converted from analogue to digital. We had to wait a few hours for fog and some snoekskuite. I must say that I didn't expect it to go of like a canon, definitely not like in the movies.


I do apologise, as far as my knowledge of SAM types of missiles go I am not top of the class...
How difficult was it to turn a Cactus from analogue to digital and what would have changed? New radars and updated firing mechanisms I guess...

When you say canon you mean lots of smoke and noise?

Cheers
MAMBA

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