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Lt Col Leeson achieves 1000 flying hours on Hawk Mk120
Article by: Capt Mabitsi Mamabolo and photographs by: F Sgt Corne Swart

Lieutenant Colonel Leeson, Officer Commanding 85 Combat Flying School, celebrated his one thousand (1000) flying hours in the Hawk Mk 120 fighter aircraft on Friday 20 January 2017.  Brigadier General Andre Barends, Officer Commanding Air Force Base Makhado, members of the Base Command Council as well as Friends of the Base joined the unit in recognizing this milestone.  Extending his congratulatory remarks, General Barends encouraged other members to emulate the performance set by Lt Col Leeson.

Brigadier General Andre Barends bestowing Lieutenant Colonel Craig Leeson with a thousand (1000) Hour wreath

He also motivated all those present to persevere under any conditions to seek progress in their various spheres of service within the Air Force.  Lt Col Leeson on the other hand extended words of profound gratitude to both his colleagues and ground crew, specifying their enduring support as having led to the achievement he was enjoying on that day. He also acknowledged the contribution of other members from other Air Force institutions whose support should be highlighted.  Lt Col Leesonís father and wife were present to celebrate their sonís and husbandís groundbreaking achievement with him, respectively.  

AFB Makhado Command Council

All present were treated to an air display by Lt Col Leeson and afterwards the customary champagne celebration followed.  Lt Col Leeson is an ĎAí Category Pilot Attack Instructor on Gripen and Hawk fighter aircraft and has accumulated over 3000 total Military Flying Hours on 10 different fighter aircraft.

85 Combat Flying School Flying Crew

Ground Crew doing final checks before take- off


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