n Journal for Contemporary History - The role of the South African Air Force (SAAF) during the SADF's cross-border operations in Angola, 1978-1981 : a historical exploration

Volume 31, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



Before focusing on the Air Force and its actions during the different cross-border operations in Angola in the period 1979-1981, it is essential to bring a few matters to the reader's attention. The escalation of military activities on the northern border of South-West Africa (SWA) towards the end of the seventies resulted in the South African Defence Force (SADF) initiating a programme of modernisation and reorganisation. In order to remain prepared and keep abreast of developments in the Army, the SAAF completely upgraded the status of its 301 Air Component to that of a full Command during 1979 - known as the Western Air Command under the command of Col. Theo de Munnink from 1 January 1980. The main task of Western Air Command was to accept responsibility to provide air support to the different elements of the Army.

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