THE AIRFORCE - SQUADRONS
87 Helicopter Flying School"Docemus" (We Teach)
The Helicopter Conversion Unit was established at Ysterplaat on 1 February 1968 to fulfil the helicopter pilot and flight engineers training role. The present unit was formed on 9th April 1968 by redesignating Training Flight, 17 Squadron at AFB Ysterplaat. The unit, equipped with Alouette II and III's, took over responsible for Helicopter Conversion Training of SAAF pilots and training of Flight Engineers for the SAAF.
The Helicopter Conversion Unit became an autonomous unit in 1971 and in January 1973 the units name changed to 87 Advanced Flying School. In 1973 the Alouette II's were retired and transferred to the Rhodesian Air Force. "B" Flight, 16 Squadron, also stationed at AFB Ysterplaat, took responsibility for advanced helicopter training from 16 September 1974 to January 1975.
Relocated to AFB Bloemspruit on 1st January 1978. 87 AFS was utilized in the additional role of air support to Military Units of the Orange Free State Command, Mercy Flights, Support for the SA Police and Search and Rescue missions. Internal security and Police and Army Co-operation. In 1983 the name was change to 87 Helicopter Flying School.
In 1985 a satellite base at Dragons Peak, in the Drakensberg was established in order to conduct mountain flying training. The base was named after the officer commanding at the time, Cmdt. C. L. van Wyngaard. The Schools Alouette III fleet has been boosted with the acquisition of the Oryx in the mid 1990s.
Other Squadrons based at Air Force Base Bloemspruit:
106 Squadron, 107 Squadron, 16 Squadron, 506 Squadron, 6 Air Servicing Unit
Other Current Squadrons:
1 Air Servicing Unit, 10 Air Depot, 101 Squadron, 102 Squadron, 104 Squadron, 105 Squadron, 106 Squadron, 107 Squadron, 108 Squadron, 110 Squadron, 111 Squadron, 140 Squadron, 142 Squadron, 15 Squadron, 15 Squadron - 'C' Flight, 16 Squadron, 17 Squadron, 18 Deployment Support Unit, 19 Squadron, 2 Air Servicing Unit, 2 Squadron, 21 Squadron, 22 Squadron, 28 Squadron, 3 Air Servicing Unit, 35 Squadron, 41 Squadron, 44 Squadron, 5 Air Servicing Unit, 500 Squadron, 501 Squadron, 502 Squadron, 503 Squadron, 504 Squadron, 505 Squadron, 506 Squadron, 508 Squadron, 514 Squadron, 515 Squadron, 516 Squadron, 525 Squadron, 526 Squadron, 6 Air Servicing Unit, 60 Squadron, 68 Air School, 80 Air Navigation School, 85 Combat Flying School, 92 Tactical Airfield Unit, Air Force Command and Control School, Air Force Gymnasium, Air Publications Service Centre, Airspace Control Unit, Bushveld Airspace Control Sector, Central Flying School, Central Photographic Institute, Combined Auction Centre, Command and Control School, Electronic Warfare Centre, Ellisras Reporting Post, Fire Training School, Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre, Lowveld Airspace Control Sector, Mobile Communications Unit, Rapid Deployment Air Operations Team 43, Rapid Deployment Air Operations Team 46, SA Air Force College, SAAF Band, SAAF Museum Historic Flight, SAAF Police, SAAF Telecommunications Centre, School of Cookery, Test Flight and Development Centre