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Article by Cpl Lebogang Ramaboea, Ad Astra magazine, photos by Mr Frans Setlau (SA Soldier)

The Chief of Air Force (CAF) designate, Lt Gen Fabian Zimpande Msimang unveiled his new rank at the opening of Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition and airshow on 19 September 2012, at Air Force Base (AFB) Waterkloof.

Lt Gen Zimpande Msimang with Lt Gen Abel Shilubane, the Chief of Defence Intelligence

Lt Gen Msimang integrated into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in 1994 after the first democratic elections, as a qualified pilot on the Mi 25 helicopter. He received his flying training at Frunze 1 Central Officers Training Center, Kirghizstan, in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from 1986 to 1991.

He graduated from the institution with a diploma in Command and Tactics of Military Aviation. During his career he has flown the Mi 8, Mi 25 Allouette III, Oryx helicopter and also did a factory conversion onto the A 109E at Agusta Westland in Italy.

Lt General Msimang was announced as CAF in June 2012 by Chief of the South African National Defence Force (C SANDF), General Solly Shoke. The appointment is with effect from 1 October 2012, the official Change of Command parade will take place on 28 September this year, at Air Force Base (AFB) Swartkop.

He is the first black CAF, replacing Lt Gen (ret) Carlo Gagiano who served the aircraft organisation for 7 years. “Sincere thanks to the outgoing CAF for the dedication and commitment in service of the country, we wish him well in his deserved retirement,” said Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Minister Mapisa-Nqakula spoke on the 7th edition of AAD exhibition and airshow.

The minister said the ministry pledges its support to the new CAF in taking SAAF to new heights.



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