Unit Emblem Mobile Communications Unit


Mobile Communications Unit

 Mission & Vision


Striving for deployable Command and Control Communications excellence.


The Mobile Communications Unit provides a combat ready deployable Command and Control Communications capability to the SA Air Force in the service of our country.



Like the abbreviation MDW, MCU is also not very familiar to the SAAF community. The Mobile Communications Unit (MCU) is part of the Mobile Deployment Wing (MDW) and situated at the old Snake Valley. It is our duty to provide communications and to be more specific, wherever you require our services. We got a lot of different ways and means to provide it, from satellite phones, the commonly known 2-way radio’s, to digital microwave links. The Microwave links can also handle data communication for computers.

We successfully completed more than 74 deployments during the 2002/3 financial year with Lt Col J. Nel as our Officer Commanding, 76 members and 50 vehicles. MCU in vehicle terms, with a serviceability of more than 80%, consists mainly of CCV 4x4’s, Samil 50’s and Land Rovers. The Samils are used to carry containers with all the different types of equipment, the Land Rovers, the point to point communication equipment and the CCV 4x4’s for Command and Control.

MCU was part of the SAAF Telecommunications Centre (SAAFTC) at AFB Waterkloof. Because of the ever-growing demand for mobile communications in the SAAF, MCU was founded as a unit in 1990, situated at Snake Valley. During 1999, however it became a unit of the Mobile Deployment Wing.

Unit Organisation

Except for the command cadre, MCU consists of 4 sections:

  • Planning Cell and Command Post, the heart of MCU, is under the control of Capt J.J. Taljaard.
  • Capt’s H.K. Metsi and L.M. Zini manage the Flights, accommodating the Telecommunication Operators.
  • Capt W.J. Jordaan is the Logistics Manager, consisting of the workshops, transport, commodities and services and configuration management.
  • Capt L.L. Mtrirara manages training.

The Mobile Communications Unit is totally dependable on technology and in order to be the leader in our field it is of utmost importance to keep abreast of the latest technology. The personnel of Mobile Communications Unit have both the knowledge and experience to achieve this goal. The only negative aspect to this objective is the expensive nature of this particular environment but through own initiative and determination, this obstacle is crossed. In order to maintain a competitive edge, members are afforded the opportunity to qualify and train themselves.

In order to fulfil the mandate of MCU, the following tasks needs to be performed by experienced and qualified personnel:

  • Provide single- and multiple- channel command and control communications in the following applications:
  • Tactical Air Base (TAB) deployments.
  • Tactical Mobile Radar (TMR) and other radar deployments and camps.
  • Tactical Air Force Command Post (T/AFCP), Tactical Forward Air Command Post (T/FACP) and Mobile Sector Control Centre (MSCC).
  • Standby for static communications services.
  • Helicopter Administration Area (HAA), Mobile Ground Signal Intelligence System (MGSS), Remote Piloted Vehicle (RPV) and South African Air Force College, Command and Control School and Air Force Gymnasium training.
  • Air Defence Artillery (ADA) and Electronic Warfare (EW) force preparation and flying squadron training.
  • Joint Operations (J OPS) with military (SADC, United Nations) and external parties (SAPS, World Food Program).
  • Provide secure SAAF in flight and ground command and control communications in the following applications:
  • Conventional-, jumping- and air transportable Mobile Air Operation Teams (MAOT).
  • Humanitarian aid operations.
  • Crime prevention operations in support of the SAPS.

The aforementioned tasks are of a specialised nature, as the standards required must conform to military doctrines and procedures. These actions were assessed and training schedules and programmes were developed to suit the need. The MCU subsequently managed to become a specialist in the field of mobile command and control communications. This capability empowers the MCU to effectively, supply mobile command and control communications to all clients internally as well as externally to the borders of the RSA.

Our communication requirements make use of almost all the popular communication frequency bands, namely:

  • High Frequency Communication
  • Very High Frequency Communication
  • Ultra High Frequency Communication

In a nutshell, we at MCU are equipped to provide all requirements for the SA Air Force. We are the sole suppliers of deployable command and control communication services within the South African Air Force



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           No place is inaccessible for MCU    MCU on deployment    MCU on deployment


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