South Africa: Officer Commanding SA Air Force Gymnasium Inspires Aviation Ground Protection Students to Do More. The 46 Aviation Ground Protection Personnel awards ceremony comprising 10 females and 36 males was held at the South African Air Force Gymnasium Lecture Room, Hoedspruit, on Wednesday, 19 July 2023.
It brought a feeling of contentment and exhilaration at the same time to the students who have been patiently awaiting the day to come so they may go home and reunite with their family members.
Addressing them during the awards ceremony, the Officer Commanding South African Air Force Gymnasium, Colonel Mokibelo Jerry Magana, congratulated the graduates for having fulfilled their goal of completing the course propitiously and urged them to commit themselves to their duties, to demonstrate a high standard of discipline, professionalism, teamwork, and to remain loyal to the organisation at all times.
Forty-six graduates represented the South African Air Force across the country and completed the Aviation Ground Protection course with eagerness, which lasted for a period of 26 weeks, beginning from 30 January until 21 July 2023.
Moreover, Col Magana told them to put the skills and knowledge gained on the course into practice for their personal gain as well as for the benefit of the organisation. “Your future careers in the South African Air Force began today, and the responsibility lies in your hands,” he said.
Airman Banele Khiva proved to be the best overall student and was also awarded the fittest male award. Meanwhile, Amn Thandeka Mtsweni has walked away as the best academic student. Amn Zungu Mnqobi Minetle received the best male shootist award, sharing the accolade with Candidate Officer Mokgaetji Clement Sekhu, who received the best female shootist award. Amn Mihlali Vukapi received the best fittest female student on the course.
“In addition to the technical knowledge you have gained, I encourage you to embrace and cultivate the following essential interpersonal skills that will enable you to operate efficiently and effectively: communication skills, proactive and assertive, develop some sharp listening skills, negotiation skills, discretion, problem-solving skills and above all, you must apply the leadership and management skills,” Colonel Magana said.
Besides, Colonel Magana emphasised the importance of being operationally ready, clear-headed, logically detailed and always oriented, flexible, physically fit, and for them to remain calm in stressful situations.
According to the course Warrant Officer, Warrant Officer Class Two Thokozani Robert Nsibande, the standard of the course was high as compared to the previous courses, thus, despite the daily challenges incurred, though manageable. Warrant Officer Class Two Nsibande was responsible for the students’ and fellow instructors’ discipline and well-being. “I am personally happy with how the course was conducted,” stated Nsibande.
Amn Khiva, who hails from Air Force Base Ysterplaat, said the course was tiring but full of excitement with lots of learning. Khiva gave his best on the fitness test, which led to him receiving the best fittest male award. Taking instructions from the Instructors at the right time helped him to achieve more.
“It gave me a positive mind that I will apply from now henceforth; I will be able to inspire others to do more,” Amn Khiva said.
Candidate Officer Sekhu who hails from 68 Air School, said the course was informative yet interesting. Sekhu said she worked hard to receive her awards. “I am looking forward to bank more awards in the near future,”