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SPANISH F-18 HORNETS TOUCH DOWN AT AFB OVERBERG (TFDC)

Article by Maj Marina Swart, ICTM Officer, AFB Overberg
Photographs taken by F/Sgt Karin Coetzee, Photographer AFB Overberg


An advance team of the Spanish Air Force (SPAF) arrived at AFB Overberg (TFDC) - two weeks ago to install an arrestor cable system on the main runway in preparation for the arrival of their aircraft on 5 May 2009. The first group arrived on 3 May 2009 with the rest of the members, four F-18 Hornet aircraft, two Boeing 707 in-flight refuelling tankers and three Hercules C-130 aircraft arriving on 5 May 2009. On 6 May 2009 an induction session took place between all the role players from Spain and AFB Overberg.

The SPAF contingent consists of 96 members, of whom 50 will be working at AFB Overberg (TFDC) and the rest at Overberg Test Range (OTR). The objective of this 3 week deployment to South Africa is to test the Taurus missile’s integration onto their F-18s and to do two operational releases of the weapon. This missile is similar to those that the German and Italian Air Forces tested here in the past 3 years. It is however the first time that the SPAF entered into an agreement with the DoD for tests to be conducted in SA with full support from the AFB Overberg TFDC and OTR.

The SPAF first familiarization flight, combined with the first profile check flight took place on 7 May 2009. AFB Overberg (TFDC) welcomes the SPAF and hope their tests are conducted safely and successfully.

The fact that the SPAF chose to use AFB Overberg (TFDC) and OTR to conduct these flight trials once again illustrates the fact that in AFB Overberg (TFDC), the SAAF and SA have facilities and personnel of internationally excepted standards and strategic importance.
 

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