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Role: VIP Transport
Status: Current

21 Squadron

"Onoorwinklik" (Unbeatable)
About this Squadron

Formed on 8 May 1941 at Nakuru, Kenya, 21 Squadron moved to Egypt two months later with Maryland light bombers. After taking over the aircraft of other squadrons which had re-equipped, this squadron was the last remaining operational Maryland bomber unit in the Western Desert when it withdrew to the Nile Delta in late January 1942. The squadron was non-operational at Amiriya until September 1942 when it re-equipped with Baltimores, and later participated in the El Alamein battle. In the second half on 1943 the squadron moved to Malta and began operations over Malta. After flying from Sicily, the squadron moved to the Italian mainland and settled in at the big Foggia air base on 16 October 1943. Early in 1944 saw the squadron supporting the Anzio beach-head, the Monte Cassino Offensive and Tito's partisan operation in Yugoslavia. A respite came in July when the squadron stood down for conversion to Marauders. By August 1944 21 Squadron was back bombing targets in northern Italy, but was disbanded in Italy on 10 September 1945.

Reformed in 1946 as a Ventura equipped bomber squadron at Swartkops, the squadron was renumbered as 25 Squadron on 1 January 1951.

In February 1968 the squadron was reformed again, this time as a VIP squadron from part of 28 Squadron, equipped with a Viscount and three Dakotas. The first HS-125s arrived in 1970 and later Swaeringen Merlin IVA's were acquired in 1975. In 1981 the squadron moved to Waterkloof, the Viscount was tranferred to 44 Squadron in 1983 while the Merlins were sold in 1985. Two Beech KingAir 200Cs were also acquired, but one was later sold while the other was transferred to 41 Squadron. The HS-125s were disposed of in 1999. The squadron currently flies an all-jet VIP fleet, with the Dassault Falcon 50 being acquired in 1982 (plus another in 1985), two Cessna 550 Citation IIs in 1983 and the Dassault Falcon 900 in 1992. A quantum leap in capability was made in January 2003 when the squadron received the new presidential Boeing BBJ ZS-RSA.

Other Squadrons based at Air Force Base Waterkloof:
1 Air Servicing Unit, 111 Squadron, 28 Squadron, 41 Squadron, 44 Squadron, 5 Air Servicing Unit, 504 Squadron, 60 Squadron, Air Publications Service Centre, Central Photographic Institute, Command and Control School, Electronic Warfare Centre, Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre, SAAF Telecommunications Centre

Other Current Squadrons:
1 Air Servicing Unit, 10 Air Depot, 10 Squadron, 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, 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, 87 Helicopter 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, 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 Procurement Unit, SAAF Telecommunications Centre, School of Cookery, Test Flight and Development Centre