On the 15th of February 2018, Armed Forces Day was officially launched with the opening of Fan Park, in Kimberly, Northern Cape. Fan Park is one of the build-up events leading up to Armed Forces Day on the 21st of February 2018.
The purpose of Fan Park is to bring the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in close proximity to the community by setting up stalls and presentations with the aim of highlighting the different and vast capabilities of the Defence Force and what the SANDF can offer the residence of South Africa.
The high school children from the local high schools in Kimberly.
The opening ceremony was conducted at A.R. Stadium which was packed with a combination of military members from all four Arms of Service, civilians from the surrounding communities and school children from the high schools in the area. The Guard of Honour and the band were presented courtesy of The South African Army and Army Band Western Cape respectively
The Gaurd of Honour, courtesy of The South African Army.
Chief of Staff at SANDF Lt Gen V. B. Masondo delivered a key note address to the crowd in attendance. The General welcomed the attendees to the opening parade of Fan Park and made a special mention of the Premier and the Mayor of Kimberly, along with the Chief of the Air Force and the Chief of Logistics. “I declare that the SANDF is a National Asset and the Armed Forces Day ensures to come closer to the people.” Said the General.
Chief of Staff of the SANDF Lt Gen V.B. Masondo saluting the members on parade;
accompanied by Brig Gen K.Moonsamy and Brig Gen Y.J. Mavumbe.
General Masondo also brought to light the three objectives of Armed Forces Day, being “to commemorate the sinking of the S. S. Mandy, to remember the fallen men and women of the SANDF and to reach out to South Africans and showcase the capabilities of the Defence Force.” The address came to a powerful end when the General addressed the youth, saying, “The Youth is the future of South Africa and as the South African National Defence Force, we cannot escape the fact that some will join the SANDF. We realize that due to budget constraints we cannot attract and retain as many youth as we would like but we hope to overcome that.”
The Oryx presentation during the capability demonstration.
Following the Fan Park Opening Parade, the attendees were given a chance to visit the different stalls and also enjoy the capability demonstrations presented by the different Arms of Services.
When Ad Astra asked Flight Sgt G. Zwane, who was in charge of the career opportunities exhibition from the South African Air Force, what he had hoped to achieve from the exhibition he said, “For people to know the careers and to know what the defence force entails. We want to be transparent about what’s available to civilians in the defence force and expand their knowledge about how they can contribute to the defence force.”
South African Air Force Museum demonstation tent
With such an exhilarating opening to Armed Forces activities the anticipation and excitement can be felt in the air! AFD 2018 is bound to be one for the books.
Silver Falcons acrobatic team displaying their skills