For the third successive year, the Air Force Prestige Unit of the year for 2010 has been awarded to 2 Air Servicing Unit, head-quartered at AFB Langebaanweg.
The aim of the SAAF annual awards competition is to give recognition to those SAAF units and personnel who have achieved the best results within a given period. The awards were announced at the annual Air Force Day Parade held on Friday 28 January 2011 at the Zwartkop airfield near Pretoria.
Although head-quartered at AFB Langebaanweg, 2 ASU also has a detachment at nearby AFB Ysterplaat. 2 ASU were the winners in 2009 and 2008 as well.
In addition to the Prestige Award, 2 ASU also received the Royal Air Force Training Award and the Air Force Air Servicing Unit of the Year awards. The Prestige Trophy was handed over to the OC of 2 ASU, Col. Earl Swanepoel, by Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs.
Congratulations 2 ASU!
2 ASU’s badge features the heraldic shield as background on which is placed a parallel pair of fish eagle wings – symbol for Air Force Operations. The central symbol represents the old chemical symbol for iron and is derived from the area – Ysterplaat. On top of this symbol is an extended arrowhead, a direction indication – always at the sharp end. Additional gear teeth to the central element is the heraldic symbol for technical/logistic.
At the bottom of the shield is a scroll with 2 Air Servicing Unit’s motto in Latin “SUSTINEMUS” which means “Support”
The volunteers at the AFB Ysterplaat branch of the museum attended a full morning’s briefing by WO2 Mark Howell.
The Museum Volunteers were divided into two groups, and the briefings will be repeated on the last Saturday of each month. The session started at the Fire and Rescue Section’s briefing room, where WO2 Mark Howell provided an enjoyable presentation.
An old storage tank previously used to store Jet A-1 fuel was then the venue for the next session on operating in a smoke-filled building.
Join the Friends of the SAAF Museum for an evening of fun and intrigue and
help us hunt for the ghost of the Museum.
Bring your family and friends along to help solve the mystery while also
learning about the colourful history of the South African Air Force. Teams
of three to four people will be tasked to find clues hidden in the Display
Hall and Hangars 1, 2 and 3.
All participants will be briefed while enjoying snacks and sherry before
embarking on the hunt. The hunt should last no longer than 1½ hours. After
all participants have completed the hunt, our famous Friends of the SAAF
Museum boerewors rolls will be served.
All teams that find the ghost of the Museum will be entered into a lucky
draw to win a mystery prize.
(Article by Chris Teale, Images by Irene McCullagh – Article originally appeared in All About Cats magazine in December 2010)
The armed forces of the world since time immemorial have always seemed to have an affinity with various animals both wild and domestic. They seem to cheerfully join the ranks and fit in with the military way of life at little inconvenience to themselves and their chosen comrades.
In the days of sail, the ship’s cat was a mandatory member of the crew with many duties relating to the control of vermin and invariably companionship to many a lonely sailor.
With the advent of more modern warfare throughout the 20th Century, the role of animals as pets and soldier’s companions was more accurately documented; there is a photograph of a German Regiment going off to the front in the First World accompanied by a miniature German dachshund, fully kitted out with a uniform, a specially made helmet and kit bag.
There are many tales to be told of the South African Air Force’s involvement with a huge menagerie of animals ranging from cheetahs with 2 Squadron in East Africa in 1940 to lionesses, ostriches, and assorted animals in the Bush from 1966 – 1989, some of whom achieved some degree of notoriety for antics they got up to including enjoying the benefits of the bars and pubs at many of the SA Air Force Bases in the then South West Africa. (Namibia)
Names given to some of these animals, including a gigantic cat and his “wife” are not mentionable in family magazines.
And so to Chloe van Ysterplaat who was promoted to Corporal at the SAAF Museum Air Force Base Ysterplaat, employed as erstwhile tour guide, vermin hunter and NCO on Duty when the Museum closes.
A generous soul, she regularly offers a morsel that she has caught and half devoured, including; mice, moles, the occasional cockroach and once in a while, a feathered species.
Once in a while, she commits the occasional breach of discipline that results in her being Confined to Barracks due to being found guilty of being Absent With Out Leave (AWOL), usually when there has been a party at the Officer’s Mess where due to her rank she is most unwelcome at these affairs.
These days she is less boisterous and besides playing with her many toys, her favourite, a catnip flavoured toy mouse, she demands her brush several times a day and can then usually be found fast asleep on a wing of one of the Museum aircraft.
A clever little soul, she loves the attention of the tourists and will happily pose for photographs. Recently she posed for Sam Bausch of the Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo and featured in one of their newsletters.
Many visitors to the Museum and enquire of her whereabouts and subsequently find her somewhere about the Museum and she will happily chat away to them in cat talk.
She is well looked after by the Museum staff and enjoys the benefits of a healthy diet as recommended by her Veterinarian Doctor. She is well known on Air Force Base Ysterplaat and is quite often visited by Senior Officers from the Base who come and enquire after her wellbeing.
When next visiting Air Force Base Ysterplaat, Corporal Chloe van Ysterplaat will more than likely be somewhere around the Museum waiting to greet you most affably and accompany you around Museum describing and pointing out her favourite spots in the Museum.