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SAAF Structure
The SA Air force is tasked with protecting the airspace of the Republic through the conduct of air operations, that is, to protect the Republic from an air attack or make it impossible for any opposing air force to provide attacking ground forces with air support.

Mission Statement
The SA Air Force provides combat-ready air capabilities for the SANDF in service of our country.

To provide and manage the Air Defence capability of the Department of Defence (DOD) on behalf of the DOD, thereby participating in the service to ensure:
  • the sovereignty and protection of the Republic's territorial integrity; and
  • compliance with the international obligations of the Republic to international bodies and states.
The Structure
The establishment of the Air Command in October 1998 resulted in a clear split in functions between the Air Force Office (at Department of Defence level) and the Air Command (one tier down). Direction giving and resource provisioning is provided by the Air Force Office, with execution by the Air Command. The Air Command is responsible to the Chief of the Air Force to develop, support and prepare the personnel and systems in order to ensure that the Air Force is combat ready.



Chief Director: Force Development and Support

Within Air Command, the focus is on the execution of the Air force's core business, being preparation for combat readiness, development of future requirements and the support of systems.

Support functions:
The support functions vary widely from career management and staffing, budget management and technical and supply support, to liaison services, foreign relations and management services. Aviation safety as a support function also forms part of a total support of all operational system groups.

Force development functions:
The force development function includes the acquisition of weapon systems and implementation of systems into the user environment.

Chief Director: Force Preparation
The SAAF's 'force preparers' are responsible for a number of system groups and form the visible front line of the Air Force.

Combat Systems Group
This group is responsible for all fixed wing offensive and defensive activities. The units under the directorate are:

2 Squadron Air Force Base Makhado Gripen C, Gripen D
60 Squadron Air Force Base Waterkloof
85 Combat Flying School Air Force Base Makhado Hawk Mk 120
7 Air Servicing Unit Air Force Base Hoedspruit
Electronic Warfare Centre Air Force Base Waterkloof

Helicopter Systems Group
Responsible for the operation control of all the SAAF's helicopters, this group comprises:

15 Squadron Air Force Base Durban A109 LUH, BK 117, Oryx
17 Squadron AFB Swartkop A109 LUH, Oryx
22 Squadron Air Force Base Ysterplaat Oryx, Super Lynx 300
16 Squadron Air Force Base Bloemspruit Rooivalk
19 Squadron Air Force Base Hoedspruit A109 LUH, Oryx
87 Helicopter Flying School Air Force Base Bloemspruit A109 LUH, BK 117, Oryx

Transport and Maritime Systems Group
As the name implies, all maritime and transport activities fall under this directorate. Associated units are:

21 Squadron Air Force Base Waterkloof 550/1 Citation II, Boeing 737-7ED (BBJ), Falcon 50, Falcon 900B
28 Squadron Air Force Base Waterkloof C-130B/BZ Hercules
35 Squadron Air Force Base Ysterplaat C-47TP Turbo Dakota
41 Squadron Air Force Base Waterkloof 208 Caravan, 300 Super King Air, B200C Super King Air, PC-12
44 Squadron Air Force Base Waterkloof C 212 Aviocar, CN 235

Command and Control Systems Group
Comprising the old directorates of Communications, Ground and Computer Systems and Air Space Control, this group comprises:

4 Air Servicing Unit Air Force Mobile Deployment Wing
18 Deployment Support Unit Air Force Mobile Deployment Wing
92 Tactical Airfield Unit Air Force Mobile Deployment Wing
120 Squadron
140 Squadron Air Force Mobile Deployment Wing
142 Squadron Air Force Mobile Deployment Wing
Mobile Communications Unit Air Force Mobile Deployment Wing

Base Support Systems Group
This group is responsible for the maintenance of facilities and airfields at nine bases and seven forward airfields. The Base Support Operational Systems component of the Group assesses the mission preparedness of ground support systems. It furthermore provides the relevant force preparation operational plan and training syllabi for base support personnel. The Base Support Logistic System component ensures the achievement of system effectiveness through optimised engineering and contract management support.

Operational Support and Intelligence Systems Group
This directorate incorporates the old Intelligence, Counter Intelligence and section Ground Protection units. The core business is the provision of operational support to the SAAF for the conduct of air operations.

Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre Air Force Base Waterkloof

Education, Training and Development
This group is the mechanism through which education, training and development opportunities are provided to members of the SAAF, both permanent force and reserve force.

80 Air Navigation School Air Force Base Ysterplaat
Central Flying School Air Force Base Langebaanweg PC-7 Mk II (Astra)
SAAF Museum Historic Flight AFB Swartkop Alouette II (Museum), C-47 Dakota (Museum), CL.13B Sabre Mk 6 (Museum), D.H.87B Hornet Moth (Museum), DHC-1 Chipmunk T MK 10, Explorer, Fi-156c-7 Storch, Harvards (Museum), Mirage IIIBZ (Museum), Mirage IIICZ (Museum), P-51D Mustang (Museum), P166S Albatross (Museum), Prentice T Mk 1, Provost T Mk 52 (Museum), S-55C (Museum), SA-330L Puma (Museum), Shackleton MR.3 (Museum), Spitfire Mk IXe (Museum)
2 Air Servicing Unit Air Force Base Langebaanweg
Air Force Gymnasium Air Force Base Hoedspruit
68 Air School TEK Base
Command and Control School Air Force Base Waterkloof
Fire Training School Valhalla
SA Air Force College Other

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