28 Squadron Emblem 28 Squadron
 

             

 
 

VALUE SYSTEM

VISION

WE ARE THE PREFERRED AIR TRANSPORT COMPONENT OF A SOUTHERN AFRICAN AIR MOBILITY CAPABILITY.


MISSION

TO PROVIDE A COMBAT READY MEDIUM/HEAVY AIR TRANSPORT CAPABILITY IN PURSUIT OF AIR POWER EXCELLENCE.  THROUGH THE JOINT PREPARATION AND EMPLOYMENT OF OUT FORCES WE ENSURE THE PROSPERITY OF THE AIR FORCE AND OUR STAKEHOLDERS.


MOTTO

LEADERS IN MILITARY AIR TRANSPORT.

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UNIT EMBLEM

28 Squadron Emblem

The unit badge consists of a green symbol of the earth in the background.  Placed over this symbol is a winged crest with the head of a springbok mounted on top of the crest.  The springbok, historically a national symbol, depicts the pride and loyalty with which the squadron has fulfilled its role as a transport squadron since its inception.

The squadron’s motto “PORTAMUS”, meaning “We Carry”, is directly coupled to the daily tasks carried out by the squadron.

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HISTORIC OVERVIEW

Initial 28 Squadron Badge

Second World War

28 Squadron was formed on the 1st of June 1943.  The entry in the war diary for that date reads – “In humble surroundings at SAAF Base Depot Almaza, Cairo, Middle East, 28 Squadron is Born”.  The first Officer Commanding was Maj A.A.D. McKellar and the bulk of the personnel were drafted from 34 and 35 Flight South African Air Force (Maritime Reconnaissance).  As the first air transport squadron of the SAAF, operating under 216 Group RAF, the squadron was equipped with 7 Anson, 5 Dakota and 2 Wellington aircraft.  During the Second World War the squadron supported the allied forces in North Africa, the islands of the Western Mediterranean, Italy and France.  By April 1944 the squadron was equipped with 30 Dakotas and 14 Ansons and during that year flew a total of 35 859 flying hours, transporting 87 029 passengers and more than 33,6 million lbs of freight.  At the end of the war, during the latter half of 1945 and early 1946, the squadron formed an integral part of the now famous “Shuttle Service” from Cairo to Pretoria.

Post-war Years and Berlin Airlift

During April 1946 the unit, based at Swartkop, was re-organised into a Permanent Force unit and was confined to internal service, occasional overseas flights and VIP flights.  From 22 September 1948 to 25 September 1949 two contingents of the squadron participated in the Berlin Airlift and contributed 2 500 sorties during which 8 333 tons were transported. In 1956 the squadron was presented with the first SA Air Force Exceptional Flying Safety Award for its achievement of a truly remarkable safety record over a long period.

C-130 Hercules – Dawn of a new Era

Early in January 1963 the SA Air Force’s new C-130 Hercules aircraft were flown from the USA to Waterkloof by members of 28 Squadron, to herald in a new era of transport flying in the SAAF.  On the 25th August 1967 the squadron was presented with its Colours by the then Commandant General of the South African Defence Force, General R.C. Hiemstra SSA, SM.  The squadron’s battle honours for its operations in the “Mediterranean 1942-1945”, “Sicily 1943” and “Italy 1943-1945” are depicted on its Colours.  In August 1969 the squadron’s air transport capability of 7 x C 130B Hercules aircraft was expanded with the introduction into service of an additional 9 x C 160Z Transall aircraft.

C-130B aircraft parked on the apron at 28 Squadron

During the 70’s and 80’s the squadron distinguished itself in numerous SADF operations in Namibia and Southern Angola.  During Operations MODULAR, HOOPER and PACKER the squadron flew numerous sorties from Rundu to Mavinga in Southern Angola and thus contributed largely to the successes of the SADF.  A total of 19 squadron members was awarded Southern Cross Medals for their contributions to these operations.

The 1990’s

With ever increasing pressure on the defence budget the decision was taken to phase out the squadron’s fleet of C-160Z Transall aircraft.  This was a traumatic experience for all the aircrews who flew this “transport aircraft that handled like a fighter”.  The squadron’s tasks, together with most other transport squadrons, now changed with the emphasis being placed on peacetime tasks such as humanitarian support missions into Southern Africa.  The squadron for example rendered support after the genocide in Burundi and Rwanda.  Various search and rescue flights and flood relief flights were also conducted to destinations in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Reunion and Zimbabwe.  In recent years the squadron has been involved in various humanitarian and benevolent gestures in Southern Africa, as well as involvement in various search and rescue missions on land and sea.  With the floods in Mozambique during 2000 and 2001 the squadron flew numerous support missions to various destinations.  During one such flight during February 2001 a total of 156 000 lbs of food and other relief aid was transported from Maputo to Quelimane in the north of Mozambique.

Over the years the squadron and its members have truly done justice to its motto “PORTAMUS” which means, “WE CARRY”.  It has performed its task of supporting the RSA government and security forces unobtrusively and without great acclaim.  After 62 years of service to the people of the RSA, the squadron can look back with pride and give acknowledgement to all the air and ground crews who have so unselfishly served their squadron with love and dedication.

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PROJECT EBB - C-130 UPGRADE

During September 1997 C-130 No 407 left for Marshalls Aerospace in the United Kingdom for a major avionics upgrade, in order to extend the aircraft’s service life with an additional 20 years.  Two USAF C-130’s (EDA grant), No’s 408 and 409 were also upgraded at Marshalls thus increasing the SAAF fleet to 9 aircraft.  The first of the upgraded aircraft (No 407) arrived back at AFB Waterkloof during September 2001, followed shortly afterwards by No’s 408 and 409.  Denel Aviation has completed the upgrade of aircraft 401 and 406 with 402, 403, 404 and 405 still in process of upgrade.

AIRCRAFT AT DENEL AVIATION IN PROCESS OF UPGRADE

ZUCA 401

AIRCRAFT PAINT SCHEME

C-130B with camouflaged paint scheme

C-130BZ with grey paint scheme

AIRCRAFT COCKPIT LAYOUT

C-130B analog cockpit

C-130BZ Glass Cockpit

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MISSION CAPABILITIES

TACTICAL APPROACHES & SUB-STANDARD AIRFIELD OPERATIONS

C-130BZ doing a maximum effort landing at Copperton

C-130BZ doing a maximum effort landing at Copperton

AIR LANDED ASSAULT OPERATIONS - RAPID DEPLOYMENT

Jakkals vehicle exiting the aircaft

AERIAL DELIVERY

Container Delivery System - CDS

PARATROOPING

Static line tailgaiting

Paratroopers exit on the ramp

SEARCH & RESCUE

SARRAFT cannister ready for the drop

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UNITED NATIONS & OTHER SUPPORT OPERATIONS

28 Squadron is engaged in various operations & missions in support of African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) and NEPAD initiatives.  Some of these missions includes:

  • Operations Fibre and Mistral in central Africa.  The re-supply of food and equipment, changeover of personnel and providing a link back to the soldiers’ homeland was the main objective of these missions.  Airfields frequented are Kinshasa, Kindu and Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Bujumbura in Burundi.

  • Support of the Comoros General elections.

  • Support of the Mozambique Elections.

  • Support to the Madagascar Flood Relief operation.

  • Transporting government delegations to Walvis Bay in Namibia, Maputo, Mozambique and Maseru in Lesotho for conferences and seminars.

  • Transporting military members to Kasane in Botswana for Exercise Themba.

  • Support of Project Taurus, one of them the transportation of liquid oxygen to Ascension Island.

    Formation flying  Goma - Democratic Republic of Congo

Kindu - Democratic Republic of Congo  Kinshasa - Democratic Republic of Congo  Bujumbura - Burundi

Click on photos to enlarge

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OFFICER COMMANDING

COL H.W. Olmesdahl, CA, MMM

Col H.W. Olmesdahl joined the SA Air Force in April 1978.  After completion of the Pilots Wings Course at CFS Dunnottar, he went on to qualify as an instructor on Harvard aircraft.  He completed his flying instructional tour at 83 Jet Flying School Langebaanweg on Impala aircraft.  A ground tour as Directing Staff at the SA Air Force College Officers Forming Wing followed before completing the DC3 Operational Conversion Course at 86 Multi Engine Flying School (86 MEFS) Bloemspruit.

He started his air transport career at 44 Squadron on Dakotas and Skymasters where he served in various posts leaving as second-in-command of the 44 Squadron.  An operational tour at 28 Squadron on C130 aircraft followed before attending the Senior Command and Staff Course in 1995.  He was appointed as Officer Commanding 86 MEFS with effect 1 January 1996.  After the closure of 86 MEFS he took over command of 44 Squadron from 1998 to 2001.  At the beginning of 2002 Col Olmesdahl was posted to the Air Command where he served as the SO Air Transport Operations and later as SSO Air Transport Operations for three years.

Col Olmesdahl has more than 5000 flying hours on military aircraft and flew the following aircraft in the SAAF; C130 Hercules, CASA 235, CASA 212, Skymasters, Dakotas, Impalas, Harvard, Fiesler Storch, Chipmunk and Kudu.

He is married to Magriet and has two children, Christel and Heinrich.

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UNIT ACHIEVEMENTS

2001

South African Air Force Permanent Flying Unit Of The Year - Gold

2002

South African Air Force Permanent Flying Unit Of The Year - Silver

2003

South African Air Force Permanent Flying Unit Of The Year - Gold
South African Air Force Top Performer Of The Year - Gold

2004

South African Air Force Permanent Flying Unit Of The Year - Gold
South African Air Force Prestige Unit Of The Year - Gold

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CONTACT INFORMATION

Address

28 Squadron
AFB Waterkloof
Private Bag X1001
Lyttelton
0140

E-Mail

28sqn@ananzi.co.za

TELEPHONE NUMBERS

Operations Room -           012 672 3727 / 3734
Operations Room (Fax) - 012 672 3725

 

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