AFB Ysterplaat is the current golden leader in excellence in the South African Air Force. Snugly facing Table Mountain and within walking distance from the shore, the people of AFB Ysterplaat state publicly that they are infected with ‘mountain fever’. Symptoms of this phenomenon include frequent smiling which is a byproduct of deep-seated humor, intense loyalty to the South African Air Force, an eagerness to create something out of nothing, a willingness to assist beyond a job description and a tendency to place duty before self.

AFB Ysterplaat is the manifestation of human magnificence where a base has miraculously arisen from the debris of closure and retracted resources. . During the previous rationalization cycle, the South African Air Force decided to close down AFB Ysterplaat, a strategic decision which had to be reversed after resource allocation had already been withdrawn from the base. Many people were transferred and many left the South African Air Force. Facilities deteriorated and systems collapsed, yet remaining staff continued to drive the winding down process.

Air Force 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.

THE AIR FORCE OFFICE

THE AIR FORCE COMMAND

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.