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C-47TP in the DRC.
CASA 212 in the DRC.
Some of the aircrew who participated in the DRC mission.
Oryx flying over typical DRC terrain.
28 Squadron, Hercules C130 at Lubumbushi airport DRC, SANDF personnel receiving flight safety briefing before returning home to SA, after successful operation.
Lt Gen Carlo Gagiano (CAF) and Maj Gen Gerald Malinga (D CAF) welcome the returning soldiers from DRC.

SAAF deploys to the DRC

Date: 7 December 2011

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By Kim Helfrich

THE importance of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) as a tool of government's foreign policy has again been demonstrated with a successful election support deployment in the DRC.

No less than 12 aircraft from the SA Air Force were tasked for the mission, involving delivery and collection of election materials and personnel all over the sprawling central African country.

A pair of AFB Waterkloof 28 Squadron C-130 airlifters was the backbone of the deployment ferrying military personnel and election material to Lubumbashi airport in DRC. A pair of C-47TPs from 35 Squadron at AFB Ysterplaat provided logistic support, in the form of fuel and spares, for the six Oryx helicopters tasked with flying election material to and from remote polling stations. The medium transport helicopters were drawn from 15 Squadron (AFB Durban), 17 Squadron (Swartkop Airfield) and 87 Helicopter Flying School (AFB Hoedspruit). A pair of C-212's from 44 Squadron were the other aircraft in the deployment.

While some aircraft and personnel are still in the central African country, SAAF Chief Lieutenant General Carlo Gagiano and his deputy, Major General Jerry Malinga, were on hand to AFB Waterkloof on Tuesday to welcome back the bulk of personnel deployed to assist in the smooth running of the election.

While the SAAF would not comment officially on reports of aircraft being shot at no aircraft were damaged during the two week long deployment.

The airborne arm of the SANDF previously proved its worth in election support when it deployed to the Comoros five years ago.

Source: The New Age


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