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Article by Sgt T.T. Mulaudzi Ad Astra magazine and photos by Cpl’s Wiko Van der Westhuizen and
Lacken Ferris 5 ASU photo section.

The outgoing Officer Commanding (OC) 28 Squadron, Col Herman Wilhelm Olmesdahl expressed gratitude to members of the 28 Squadron, at Air Force Base (AFB) Waterkloof, for their commitment, dedication, loyalty, support and professional services rendered to the squadron during his tenure of office.

The Outgoing Officer Commanding 28 Sqdn Col Olmesdahl addressing the parade

Speaking during change of command at the base, while he handed over the reigns to Col Hans Jurgens Prinsloo, he urged members to continue working hard and to also give their full support to his successor in order for the squadron to excel in its objectives.

Col Olmesdahl pointed out that 28 Squadron had a history that encouraged its members to continue to do the best for the South African Air Force (SAAF), while serving on the mandate of the government, which included the Peace Support initiatives and many more.

Col H.W. Olmesdahl handing over the 28 Sqdn shield to Col H.J. Prinsloo as a symbol of authority

According to Col Olmesdahl, the squadron’s motto, “Portamus,” which means, “We carry,” was justified in terms of some of the achievements that the squadron had been awarded, including the Sword of Peace.

He explained that the squadron had been in operation as a transporting unit, while equipped with the Dakota, Anson and the Wellington aircraft.  The colonel added that 2 500 sorties had been recorded while moving 8 333 tons of freight.

Three cheers for the outgoing Officer Commanding Col Olmesdahl

He further said that some of the achievements attributed to the squadron’s hard work dated back to the World War Two, when it was serving with distinction while taking part at the Berlin Airlift.  He said; “In 1956, 28 Squadron was presented with the first SAAF Exceptional Flying Safety award after having flown a remarkable safety record extending over a long period of time.”

Col Olmesdahl said 28 Squadron’s records were amazing whereby, during 1963 the squadron entered a new era in the air transport operations when it became equipped with the Lockheed C 130B aircraft.

The Air Force band doing what they are used to under the command of FSgt Hadebe leading them

He highlighted a number of projects that the squadron participated in previously such as the humanitarian and benevolent gestures and the search missions, as well as rescue of numerous offshore vessels and aircraft accidents in the African countries.

The colonel said that 28 Squadron had been honoured with numerous flight safety awards as well as the SAAF Operational Efficiency Awards, and had also been the top achiever for numerous awards, including the Sword of Peace Award for the year 2011.


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