Unit emblem AFB Overberg

AFB Overberg
 

             

 
 

 ROLE AND FUNCTION / CORE BUSINESS FUNCTION

 AIR FORCE BASE OVERBERG PROVIDES AN OPERATIONAL CAPAB0ILITY IN FLIGHT TESTING BY MEANS OF EVALUATING AIRCRAFT AND AIRBORNE SYSTEMS.

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 SPECIALIST PLATFORMS

AIR FORCE BASE OVERBERG BOASTS THE FOLLOWING:

· FLIGHT TESTING FACILITIES OF INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS
· SATELLITE LAUNCHING FACILITIES (IN CONJUNCTION WITH DENEL OVERBERG TEST RANGE)
· ONE OF ONLY A FEW AIR BASES WORLDWIDE TO BE CO-LOCATED WITH A MISSILE TEST RANGE
· POTENTIAL FOR AN ELECTRONIC WARFARE (EW) RANGE
· PRESENTATION OF AN OPERATIONAL TEST AND EVALUATION (OT&E) COURSE
· IMPORTANT TASK OF SECURING OWN TECHNOLOGICAL ASSETS, MILITARY HARD AND SOFTWARE
· CONVENIENT PROXIMITY OF MILITARY AIR BASE TO THE CAPE SEA ROUTE

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HISTORY

THE TEST FLIGHT AND DEVELOPMENT CENTRE(TFDC) WAS OFFICIALLY ESTABLISHED ON 10 AUGUST 1975 AT AIR FORCE BASE WATERKLOOF, PRETORIA WITH A SATELLITE UNIT BASED AT UPINGTON IN THE NORTHERN CAPE.
THE OVERBERG TEST RANGE (OTR) WAS ESTABLISHED IN THE OVERBERG REGION, WESTERN CAPE WHEN SOUTH AFRICA ENTERED THE AEROSPACE INDUSTRY. THE TEST RANGE WITH ITS SOPHISTICATED TECHNICAL FACILITIES, WAS TAILOR MADE FOR THE SPACE PROGRAMME. IN 1987, TFDC RELOCATED TO THE OVERBERG IN ORDER TO UTILISE THE STATE OF THE ART SERVICES OFFERED BY ITS NEIGHBOUR.

TFDC WAS DECLARED AN AIR FORCE BASE WHEN SOUTH AFRICAN AIR FORCE STRUCTURES WERE REORGANISED IN 2004, AND HAS BEEN KNOWN AS AIR FORCE BASE OVERBERG EVER SINCE.

AFB OVERBERG IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL EXPERIMENTAL, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FLIGHT TESTING CONDUCTED IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN AIR FORCE. AFB OVERBERG IS STRATEGICALLY POSITIONED WITH A LARGE VOLUME OF AIRSPACE, ALLOWING FOR FLEXIBILITY DURING FLIGHT TESTING. THIS, COMBINED WITH ITS WORLD CLASS CAPABILITIES AND FACILITIES, MAKES IT THE ENVY OF MANY FOREIGN AEROSPACE COMPANIES.

THE SCOPE OF PROJECTS UNDERTAKEN AT AFB OVERBERG VARIES VASTLY IN TERMS OF DURATION, COST, RISK AND LEVEL OF TECHNOLOGY.

DENEL OVERBERG TEST RANGE (DOTR) PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE WHEN FLIGHT TEST TRIALS ARE CONDUCTED; ACCURATE SPATIAL POSITIONING, AS WELL AS OPTICAL AND RADAR TRACKING OF AIRBORNE TARGETS IS PROVIDED. CINETHEODOLITES LOCATED THROUGHOUT THE TEST RANGE SUPPLY VISUAL TRACKING OF AIRCRAFT AND RELEASED STORES, WHILE THE LASER TRACK MOUNT AND DOPPLER TRACKING RADARS ARE USED FOR ACCURATE MULTI-TARGET TRACKING.

MANY AEROSPACE ORGANISATIONS HAVE MADE USE OF THE FACILITIES AT AFB OVERBERG INCLUDING BAE SYSTEMS, SAAB, THALES, EUROCOPTER, AIRBUS INDUSTRY, PILATUS, MARSHALL AEROSPACE, AGUSTA, NATIONAL TEST PILOT SCHOOL, EPNER, AND EMPIRE TEST PILOT SCHOOL. INTERNATIONAL MILITARY CLIENTS INCLUDE THE ROYAL AIR FORCE, THE GERMAN LUFTWAFFE, THE SINGAPORE AIR FORCE, THE SPANISH AIR FORCE, THE TURKISH AIR FORCE AND THE ITALIAN AIR FORCE (STORM SHADOW).

AFB OVERBERG HAS PARTICIPATED AND CONTRIBUTED TO THE SUCCESS OF 4 LARGE-SCALE BI-NATIONAL JOINT EXERCISES (EXERCISE GOOD HOPE), BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN AIR FORCE, SOUTH AFRICAN NAVY, GERMAN AIR FORCE AND GERMAN NAVY TASK GROUP.

TFDC BEGAN PRESENTING A MAINTENANCE TEST PILOT’S (MTP) COURSE IN THE LATE 1970’S. THE NAME OF THE COURSE HAS BEEN CHANGED TO OPERATIONAL TEST AND EVALUATION COURSE (OT&E) IN LINE WITH CURRENT WORLD TRENDS. THESE COURSES ARE PRESENTED BY ALL CURRENT SERVING FLIGHT TEST QUALIFIED PERSONNEL AT AFB OVERBERG AND IS AIMED AT SOUTH AFRICAN AIR FORCE PILOTS, ENGINEERS, TECHNICAL OFFICERS AND NAVIGATORS. PROVISION IS ALSO MADE FOR MEMBERS INVOLVED IN THE AEROSPACE INDUSTRY OUTSIDE THE SOUTH AFRICAN AIR FORCE.
 
THE COURSE SYLLABUS COVERS A WIDE SPECTRUM OF SUBJECTS - TECHNICAL REPORT WRITING, TEST FLYING, OPERATIONAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL TESTING, CONFIGURATION CONTROL, DATA MANAGEMENT AND STATUARY PROCESSES – ALTHOUGH OPERATIONAL TESTING AND EVALUATION IS CONSIDERED PARAMOUNT.

AN AIRSHOW/FLY-IN IS HOSTED EVERY TWO YEARS. THIS EVENT ORIGINATED IN 1997 WHEN A FEW MEMBERS – UNIFORMED MEMBERS AND CONTRACTORS WORKING AT THE THEN TFDC - CONVINCED THE OFFICER COMMANDING TO ALLOW THE BASE TO HOST A FLY-IN. 

THE AIM OF THIS FIRST FLY-IN WAS TO PRESENT AN INFORMAL EVENT WHERE CIVILIAN PILOTS WERE ALLOWED TO FLY IN AND LAND AT THE BASE. THEY WOULD SPEND A WEEKEND CAMPING NEXT TO THEIR AIRCRAFT ON THE BASE’S RUNWAY. THIS EVENT WAS COMBINED WITH AN AIR SHOW. IT PROVED TO BE SUCH A GREAT SUCCESS THAT THE AIR SHOW/FLY-IN NOW TAKES PLACE BIENNIALLY. THE 2011 AIRSHOW/FLY-IN WAS POSTPONED TO 20-22 APRIL 2012 TO CO-INCIDE WITH THE 25 TH YEAR AFB OVERBERG HAS BEEN LOCATED IN THE OVERBERG REGION.


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MISSION, VISION AND CORE VALUES

MISSION: TO PROVIDE A COMPREHENSIVE FLIGHT TEST CAPABILITY FOR THE SANDF IN SERVICE OF OUR COUNTRY.

VISION: 
TO BE RECOGNISED FOR EXCELLENCE IN FLIGHT TESTING.
 

CORE VALUES:

A ccountability

L oyalty

E mpowerment

R ecognition

T eamwork

E ncouragement

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EMBLEM

WHILE TFDC WAS STILL STATIONED IN PRETORIA, ITS’ SMALL SATELLITE UNIT OPERATED FROM UPINGTON IN THE NORTHERN CAPE.  DURING THIS TIME THE EMBLEM CURRENTLY USED BY AFB OVERBERG WAS DEVELOPED.  AFB OVERBERG’S EMBLEM ECHOES THE AFRICAN FISH EAGLE ON THE SOUTH AFRICAN AIR FORCE EMBLEM AND SO REFLECTS THE CORE BUSINESS AND THE TASK PERFORMED AT THIS UNIT.  (THE UNIT AT UPINGTON WAS CLOSED WHEN TFDC MOVED TO THE OVERBERG.)


DESCRIPTION:

THE UNIT HAS THE TASK OF EXPERIMENTAL FLIGHT TESTING, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.  THIS LEADS TO KNOWLEDGE WHICH IS SYMBOLISED BY THE HERALDIC KEY.

FLIGHT TESTING REQUIRES EXCEPTIONAL OBSERVATION, DECISION-MAKING AND REACTION SKILLS, IN OTHER WORDS FLIGHT TESTERS MUST BE WIDE AWAKE AT ALL TIMES.  SINCE EAGLES DISPLAY THESE CHARACTERISTICS THIS ESSENTIAL CHARACTER TRAIT IS PORTRAYED BY THE EAGLE ON THE EMBLEM.

THE EAGLE ON THE EMBLEM IS A TAWNY EAGLE, A BIRD ENDEMIC TO THE KALAHARI, ITS’ NATURAL HABITAT.  THIS RECOGNISES THE EARLY HISTORY AND ROOTS OF TFDC/AFB OVERBERG.

THE MOTTO, ALERTé, IS FRENCH AND MEANS (MORE OR LESS) WIDE AWAKE.

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ACHIEVEMENTS

AFB OVERBERG WAS AWARDED THE SECOND BEST BASE IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN AIR FORCE AT THE 2011 PRESTIGE AWARDS CEREMONY.

AFB OVERBERG ALSO RECEIVED MANY OTHER AWARDS:

·    THE CALTEX FLOATING TROPHY FOR BASE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT IN THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE (2008)

·    THE AWARD FOR MAINTENANCE OF AN INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN THE DOD (2006 – 2008)

·    THE 2007 AIR SHOW/FLY-IN VOTED SA’S BEST AIR SHOW

·    THE ARMSCOR CHAIRMAN AWARD FOR PROJECT WINCHESTER (HAWK) - LT COL SCOTT AND MR CHAPLIN (2008)

·    THE AFB OVERBERG (TFDC) COMBINED MESS WAS AWARDED THE TROPHY FOR THE BEST MESS IN THE SA AIR FORCE IN 2005, 2008 AND 2010.

THE PROTECTION SQUADRON RESPONSIBLE FOR SECURITY AND PROTECTION AT AFB OVERBERG (TFDC), 525 SQN, HAS ALSO BEEN AWARDED MANY TIMES:

·     BEST PROTECTION SQUADRON (2004 – 2008)

·     BEST PROTECTION TRAINING SECTION (2006-2008 AS WELL AS 2011)

BEST PROTECTION PERSONNEL SECTION (2009).

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INTERACTION WITH OTHER ORGANISATIONS

 NATIONAL CLIENTS:

SANDF
DEFENCE TEC
ATE
GES
AZTEC
OVERBERG TEST RANGE
AEROSUD
AMSCOR
DAS
SOMCHEM
RDL
RDI
DENEL AVIATION
PLESSEY
ADS
BRIMET


INTERNATIONAL CLIENTS:

BAE
SAAB
ROYAL AIR FORCE
THALES
EUROCOPTER
LUFTWAFFE
SINGAPORE AIR FORCE
AIRBUS INDUSTRY
NTPS
EPNER
ETPS
PILATUS
ITALY STORM SHADOW
SPANISH AIR FORCE
MARSHALLS
AGUSTA
TURKEY

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RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS PEOPLE AND NATURE

PEOPLE:

AFB OVERBERG REGULARLY ASSISTS IN FIRE FIGHTING OPERATIONS DURING THE DRY SUMMER MONTHS WHEN VICIOUS VELD FIRES ARE COMMON IN THE AREA.  THE BASE ALSO PARTICIPATES IN SEARCH AND RESCUE ACTIVITIES SUCH AS REQUIRED DURING FLOODS.

THE BIENNIAL AIRSHOW/FLY-IN DRAWS CROWDS OF UP TO 15 000 FLYING ENTHUSIATS WHO COME TO WITNESS THE SKILL AND ARTISTRY OF SAAF AVIATORS.  150 CIVILIAN AIRCRAFT ALSO FLY IN FOR A WEEKEND OF AVIATION RELATED FUN.  BESIDES THE AIRCRAFT FLYING, MANY MORE ARE TO BE SEEN IN THE STATIC DISPLAYS.  ANOTHER DRAW CARD IS THE FLIGHT SIMULATOR BUILT INSIDE AN ACTUAL COCKPIT OF AN IMPALA MKI.

THE SIMULATOR WAS THE BRAIN CHILD OF MEMBERS OF TFDC WHO IMAGINED AND THEN LOVINGLY BUILT IT.  TODAY THIS IMPALA SIMULATOR IS EMPLOYED AT OPEN DAYS, AIR SHOWS AND SCIENCE EXHIBITIONS.  THIS IS A POWERFUL TOOL USED TO EDUCATE CHILDREN ABOUT FLYING AND STIMULATING THEIR INTEREST IN AND ENTHUSIASM FOR FLIGHT.

DURING OPEN DAYS FOR LEARNERS OF THE BREEDE RIVER AND OVERBERG REGIONS, AFB OVERBERG PROMOTES THE SOUTH AFRICAN AIR FORCE AS AN EMPLOYER OF CHOICE, HIGHLIGHTING THE MANY CAREER OPTIONS AVAILABLE IN THE SAAF.

AFB OVERBERG PARTICIPATES IN VARIOUS YOUTH PROGRAMMES SUCH AS HOLIDAY PROGRAMMES PRESENTED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE CAPE AGULHAS MUNICIPALITY, OVERBERG DISTRICT COUNCIL AND NGO’S. 

AFB OVERBERG HAS BEEN GRANTED THE RIGHT TO EXERCISE THE FREEDOM OF ENTRY INTO THE CAPE AGULHAS MUNICIPALITY AND THESE PARADES TAKE PLACE EVERY TWO YEARS.

THE BASE HAS MADE DONATIONS TO THE PROTEM PRE-PRIMARY SCHOOL, CHILDREN’S HOUSE OF SAFETY IN STRUISBAAI, LIEFDESNESSIE AND SUIDEROORD OLD AGE HOMES IN BREDASDORP, THE SERVICE CENTRE OF THE BREDASDORP A.C.V.V., THE LOCAL PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL, THE BREDASDORP BRANCH OF THE RED CROSS SOCIETY, THE NOMPUMULELO CRECHE IN BREDASDORP, THE CAPE LEOPARD TRUST AND THE BURGER KINDERFONDS TO NAME BUT A FEW.

AFB OVERBERG PARTICIPATES IN AN ANNUAL WREATH LAYING CEREMONY IN NAPIER ON REMEMBERENCE DAY, THE 11TH OF NOVEMBER.

THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AND MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ARE INVITED TO ATTEND THE YEARLY MEMORIAL SERVICE COMMEMORATING MEMBERS OF AFB OVERBERG WHO PAID THE ULTIMATE PRICE IN SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY.  THE LOCAL CHOIR, AKKOORD, HAS PERFORMED AT SOME MEMORIAL SERVICES.

THE CHAPLAIN OF AFB OVERBERG IS ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN A CONGREGATION IN BREDASDORP.

ENVIRONMENT:

AFB OVERBERG IS ARGUABLY THE SOUTH AFRICAN MILITARY BASE SITUATED IN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PART OF OUR COUNTRY.  IT IS LOCATED IN THE UNIQUE FYNBOS KINGDOM AND DENSELY POPULATED WITH A VARIETY OF PROTEAS AND OTHER FYNBOS SPECIES SUCH AS ERICAS AND HEATH.  AN ASTONISHING VARIETY OF BIRDS SUCH AS SOUTH AFRICA’S NATIONAL BIRD, THE BLUE CRANE, CAPE SUGAR BIRD, CAPE FRANCOLIN ETC CAN BE SEEN FLITTING AMONG THE SHRUBS.  MOTORISTS WITHIN THE BASE ARE CAUTIONED TO BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR TORTOISES.  RABBITS AND PORCUPINES ARE OFTEN SEEN AT DUSK. 

SINCE AFB OVERBERG IS ISO14001 COMPLIANT ALL FACETS OF THE ENVIRONMENT MUST BE CONSIDERED IN THE EXECUTION OF FLIGHT TEST PROGRAMS.  SUBSEQUENTLY ALL ACTIVITIES AT ARE CONDUCTED IN SUCH A MANNER THAT ANY DAMAGE CAUSED TO THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT IS KEPT TO AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL SECTION OF AFB OVERBERG FACILITATES PARTICIPATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL DAY ACTIVITIES HOSTED BY THE BREDASDORP BRANCH OF THE BOTANICAL SOCIETY, AS WELL AS KIDS IN THE PARK PROGRAMMES HOSTED BY SA NATIONAL PARKS.

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CONTACT DETAILS

General enquiries

CAPTAIN MATHEA KAPP (CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER)
Tel: 028 4254005
Fax: 028 4254227

E-mail: tfdc@telkomsa.net

Postal address:

Officer Commanding
AFB Over berg
Private Bag X14
Bredasdorp
7280

 

Visitors:
Visiting aircraft (civilian) to the base must request authorization from the Air Office in Pretoria prior to departing for the unit. The Air Office can be contacted in Pretoria, telephone no: 012 3122034.

Normal hours of duty are from 07:45 to 16:15 Monday to Friday.
Aircraft routing through FAR 147 during working hours should contact the Air Traffic Controller at (028) 425-4079 or after hours at (028) 425-4111.

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