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Shackleton ground run.
Super Lynx
Ysterplaat flight line filled with SAAF Museum aircraft.
Oryx helicopter.
Buccaneer presently undergoing restoration.
Mirage IIIR2Z.

Ysterplaat celebrates Heritage Day

Date: 24 September 2020

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By Dean Wingrin

South Africa celebrates Heritage Day on September 24 each year, a day in which the cultural heritage of the many cultures that make up the population of South Africa is commemorated.

On Wednesday September 23, various events were staged at Air Bases throughout the country, with AFB Ysterplaat in Cape Town partnering with the residential SAAF Museum branch to allow units, sections and squadrons to adopt Museum aircraft and celebrate the SAAF’s heritage.

Officer commanding of AFB Ysterplaat, Colonel Carl Moatshe, noted with appreciation that “in the midst of the COVOD-19 battle, members found the time to fix, clean and replace tyres on their adopted aircraft for this day.”

Planned to “unite Heritage with the future,” younger members of all the lodger unit on the Base were invited to clean and prepare their chosen SAAF Museum aircraft for display on the flight line and in so doing research the history of that particular aircraft for presentation to the invited guests.

Not only was the SAAF celebrating its Centenary during 2020, but 24 October 2021 marks 80 years of the founding of AFB Ysterplaat.

Moatshe explained that AFB Ysterplaat is the only dedicated maritime Base in the country.

“The pressure of the required maritime surveillance and patrol does not get any lesser,” Moatshe said, “Air Force Base Ysterplaat must be the center of maritime excellence and capabilities because of the growing interest in maritime economy and attempts to demarcate new maritime boundaries.”

Moatshe was even more proud of the members of AFB Ysterplaat as the Base won the SAAF’s Prestige Base of the Year for the second year in a row.

After a short Parade during which certificates were handed to members of the Base for their hard work and dedication over the past year, guests were treated to the thrill of experiencing the sound and vibrations of an Avro Shackleton maritime patrol aircraft of the SAAF Museum undergoing a ground run, whilst a C-47TP Dakota of 35 Squadron flew low overhead.

Thereafter, guests were invited to view the eleven SAAF Museum aircraft displayed on the flight line whilst an Oryx helicopter and two Super Lynx helicopters conducted training nearby.

Afterwards, all members and guests participated in an impromptu Jerusalema Dance on the flight line.

Chief of the Airforce, Lieutenant General Zimpande Msimang who celebrates his 60th birthday this September, arrived shortly after the Jerusalema Dance. However, he did not miss out as he had participated in the Jerusalema Dance performed by AFB Langebaanweg that morning.

AFB Ysterplaat celebrated Heritage Day and the collective heritage of the South African Air Force in a fun filled day.

“This is the Prestige Base and it is made of prestige members,” Moatshe remarked, “You make this base tick!”



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