Command and Control

Air Space Control Operator, Air Traffic Controller, Air Traffic Service Assistant, Mission Controller, Radar Operator, Telecommunications
Ysterplaat Airbase
Posted 2 years ago

AFB Ysterplaat

The following musterings are available:

  • Air Space Control Operator
  • Air Traffic Controller
  • Air Traffic Service Assistant
  • Mission Controller
  • Radar Operator
  • Telecommunications


The requirements to be accepted in air traffic control in the SAAF are as follows:

  1. Must be a South African citizen
  2. Age: Not younger than 18 and not yet 22 when starting Basic Military Training
  3. Classified medically fit for duty by the Institute for Aviation Medicine
  4. Be recommended by a selection board

The academic requirements are:

  1. Completed Grade 12 with English as a passed subject.
  2. Mathematics (NSC level 4) and Geography essential.


18 months training at Air Space Control School at AFB Waterkloof, including Basic Military Training at Air Force Gymnasium.

Air Space Control Operator

Mission Controlers are assisted by Air Space Control Operators who operate the radar, man the operations room and make meteorological observations.

Air Traffic Controller (ATC)

Air traffic controllers regulate the orderly departure and arrival of aircraft at an airfield and ensure that they are seperated by safe distances and heights en-route. When aircraft approach an airfield for landing, they vector them towards the runway in order thet they may continue with a visual approach or intercept the radio beam of the Instrument Landing System (ILS). At some airfields the ATC talks them down by using Ground Controlled Approach (GCA) radar.

Air Traffic Service Assistant

Air traffic control assistants assist the ATC in routine aspects of their tasks and also provide ground control information to aircraft on the ground. Future Air Traffic Controllers are selected from the ATC assistants.

Mission Controller

From the moment a fighter takes off on an interception, it is directed to the target by the mission controller until it picks up the target on its own radar or makes visual contact with the ‘bogey’ (unidentified or hostile aircraft). Mission controllers also play an integral part in compiling an Air Situation Picture. This forms the principle element regarding the SAAF’s in-flight command and control capability during both peace and war time situations. This is done by means of mobile and static radars that are situated around South Africa.

As Mission Controllers are part of the executive of the combat team they too are appointed as officers.

Radar Operator

They are responsible for the production of an accurate and updated air situation picture by means of tracking and identifying all air movements which penetrate the RSA’s airspace. The aircraft recognition process starts as soon as the first blip (a target reflected on the radar screen) appears. Aircraft are identified by means of electronic media, flight plans and radio messages.

Job Features

Job CategoryCommand, Control

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