Pretoria – Even with the impending adversity facing the South African Air Force due to stringent budget costs, newly inducted Air Force Chief Lieutenant-General Wiseman Mbambo is ready to hit the ground running.
Mbambo told the women and men in blue; “Let’s get down to business, we have no time to waste,” shortly after he was handed the baton as the Chief of the Air Force earlier today.
The new Chief said it was time that the country looked to harnessing its own resources or face little to no chance of surviving in a highly competitive environment.
He said if anything South Africa had to be strategic and even be prepared to pay the highest premium to develop members of the force.
“We understand the standard ecosystem cycle of the defence force and the defence industry which tends to become strenuous under scarce resources, but we all have to survive under the prevailing turbulences.”
“As the air force, we shall enhance and deepen our members’ skills and knowledge in order to save costs and narrow our footprint to external dependency.”
Mbambo highlighted that one way of doing this was through exploiting technology and keeping up with developments that the 4th industrial revolution (4IR) possessed and at the same embracing new approaches.
“Those who remain rigid in closed systems are likely to be swept away by the 4IR transformative whirlwind. We shall continue to enhance our combat hardware because we know that the enemy can be taken out of the game much simpler and faster through innovative employment of military technology.”
Outgoing Chief Lieutenant-General Fabian Msimang in his final moments said he was confident he was handing the duty of command to someone who was a perfect fit for the job.
He said having worked closely with Mbambo in Angola, Russia, Tanzania and in South Africa during the integration, he was assured that the air force was going to be led by a visionary leader, with foresight and integrity.
“I leave behind an agile enough South African Air Force that physically and intellectually moved seamlessly between its traditional mandated tasks and functions and the demanding new environments of climate change, firefighting, the Covid-19 pandemic as well as peace support operations.”
Msimang has been steering the country’s air force since September 28, 2012, and officially retired from his position at the end of April this year.