New leadership at Cape airbases and squadrons (Updated)

Two of the three South African Air Force (SAAF) bases located in the Western Cape province have received new commanding officers: AFB Overberg and AFB Ysterplaat.

AFB Ysterplaat, situated within the City of Cape Town municipal boundary, has seen Colonel Carl Moatshe take over responsibility of the base from Colonel AJ (Cassie) de Castro with effect from 1 January 2018.

Moatshe was previously Officer Commanding of 28 Squadron at AFB Waterkloof, where he had been flying the C-130BZ Hercules for more than five years. He was appointed as boss of the transport squadron in 2016 and also previously served as the coach of the AFB Waterkloof ladies soccer team. Col GJ Engelbrecht will take over as OC of 28 Squadron.

Having served as boss of AFB Ysterplaat for three years (he was appointed as Officer Commanding in February 2015), de Castro is taking over the command of AFB Overberg in the southern Cape from Lieutenant Colonel Musa Mbhokota. AFB Overberg is home to the SAAF’s Test Flight and Development Centre (TFDC). Mbhokota, the first black Gripen pilot in the SAAF and a former 2 Squadron Officer Commanding, was appointed to lead the remote airbase in November 2016, but is believed to have left the SAAF some time in 2017.

The third airbase in the Western Cape, AFB Langebaanweg on the Cape West Coast, will see Brigadier General Mac Mathanda, appointed in 2015, remain in charge. However, Lt Col Donovan Chetty, current OC of 35 Squadron, will transfer as OC of Central Flying School at AFB Langebaanweg with effect from 1 March 2018, promoted to the rank of full Colonel and taking over from Colonel DJ Blom.

Although not officially acknowledged, AFB Ysterplaat-based 22 Squadron will also see a new Officer Commanding take over from Colonel Brian Bell from January this year as Col Bell is retiring. He will be replaced as OC by 15-year airforce veteran Lt Col Khuliso Tshiololi.

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