RECRUITMENT - RESERVE SQUADRONS
Air Force Reserve SquadronsThese squadrons (previously Air Force Reserve Squadrons, Volunteer Air Squadrons, or Commando Squadrons), fulfill an increasingly important role as the SAAF's capabilities are mainly being restricted by a lack of pilots and other technical personnel (Ad Astra, vol 17, no 8). These squadrons supplement the role of the light transport squadrons of the SAAF, thus allowing the SAAF to use additional pilots and aircraft at a reduced cost.
Members of these squadrons come from all walks of life, performing a diverse range of tasks. Some of these taks are performed over weekends, while most of their training is done over weekends as well. Each squadron is unique because the members have particular knowledge of the area of responsibility in which they operate. This local knowledge is very important when operating with the police in crime-prevention operations. Smaller and slower aircraft are generally used for reconnaissance, border patrol and police work, while higher performance aircraft undertake VIP transport roles.
The aircrew qualifications for joining the Air Force Reserve Squadrons is a minimum of a private pilots licence (PPL) with an instrument (IF) rating and in excess of 500 hours. However, it was decided in 2003 that the 500 hours of flying time be reduced to 200 hours, after which a recruit had to be co-piloted for a further 300 hours to make up the 500 hours. An additional requirement is that every member must either own their own aircraft or have access to one.
Volunteers who meet the criteria may be required to undertake some form of basic military training if they have no military background. All prospective pilots have to undergo a wings test with a Category A-1 SAAF instructor in order to determine a minimum level of flying proficiency.
Those pilots who pass this test are awarded their wings at the same wings parade as regular SAAF trainees at the CFS.
Of the nine squadrons spread around the country, three are coastal squadrons, two central and the remaining four are spread around Gauteng and the Northern Province.
||The main area of responsibility is Mpumalanga Province, mainly involved in crime prevention.||AFB Hoedspruit|
|102 Squadron||Area of responsibility is from north of Polokwane (Pietersburg) to the Limpopo River. The squadron has been extensively utilised for recce flights on the border between the RSA, Zimbabwe and Botswana.||AFB Makhado|
|104 Squadron||This squadron is utilised as a VIP/IP transport squadron, as well as doing recce flights in the Gauteng area.||AFB Waterkloof|
|105 Squadron||Main operations include coastal recce flights, command and control and telstar in crime prevention operations in co-operation with the police and Army.||AFS Durban|
|106 Squadron||Members of this squadron are spread over a wide area and assist the police in operations in the Free State.||AFB Bloemspruit|
|107 Squadron||Members of this squadron are spread over a wide area and assist the police in operations in the Northern Cape.||Kimberley (Under control of AFB Bloemspruit)|
|108 Squadron||Main operations include coastal recce flights, command and control and telstar in crime prevention operations in co-operation with the police and Army.||AFB Port Elizabeth|
|110 Squadron||Main operations include VIP transport, coastal recce flights, command and control and telstar in crime prevention operations in co-operation with the police and Army.||AFB Ysterplaat|
|111 Squadron||This squadron is utilised as a VIP/IP transport squadron, as well as doing recce flights in the Gauteng area.||AFB Waterkloof|
Staff Officer Air Force Reserve Squadrons (SO AFRS)
Telephone: (012) 312 2507
Fax: (012) 312 2020