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Best Base in SAAF 2014

Best Base in SAAF 2014Image: Lieutenant General Fabian Msimang, Chief of the South African Air Force with acting Officer Commanding of Air Force Base Overberg, Lieutenant Colonel Marius van Den Heever. 

During his address, Msimang said the Air Force will focus on the Department of Defence's (DoD's) key priorities to keep the Air Force fast, flexible, versatile, effective and efficient. "I see another great Air Force year, because we have the resilience to make it through any tough economic times. In an environment of high demands and obligations, we have accomplished our missions as directed by the broader DoD.

"Tune in on RADIO OVERBERG 98.4 FM on Easter Sunday April 20 at 18h00 for a discussion on Air Force Base Overberg (of dan TVOS, soos algemeen bekend hier rond!).

Air Force Base Overberg (TVOS) Background

The advent of the arms boycott in the 1960's caused the SAAF to create a testing and evaluating organisation in order to update the current systems and develop new technologies. In 1967 a graduate of the Empire Test Pilot's School (ETPS) was appointed as Chief Test Pilot at Air Force Head Quarters to expand the test flying and evaluation capabilities of the SAAF. In 1974 another EPTS graduate took over and was tasked with establishing a test flying unit at Waterkloof, using the southern readiness platform. The Test Flight and Development Centre was officially established on 10 August 1975 at AFB Waterkloof.

Additional pilots were sent to the EPTS and EPNER in France in the 1970s as local development and manufacture expanded.In 1979 the TFDC has grown to such an extent that it was allocated one of the hanger complexes at AFB Waterkloof. In 1980 a satellite unit of TFDC was established at the Van Ryneveld Airfield in Upington in order to conduct weapon clearances. By 1981 the TFDC had 19 test aircraft and was working on over 100 projects. The cost and inconvenience of having the project office and weapon range far from each other was recognised and a decision was taken in the early 1980's to construct a new facility for the TFDC. A large airfield was built next to the new Armscor Overberg Test Range (OTB) near Bredasdorp on the Southern Cape Coast and TFDC moved to the new airfield in 1987.