Air force introduce possibilities to youth

Ysterplaat air force base Officer Commanding, Lieutenant Colonel Cassie de Castro.

High school pupils were introduced to air force job opportunities at Air Force Base Ysterplaat on Friday October 7.

The youngsters gazed in awe at the display of a drone with a mounted video camera, which zipped among them, displaying their excited expressions on the projector in front of the hall.

Their faces also lit up when they saw the Oryx and Lynx helicopters up close.

“I want you to use this opportunity to broaden your horizons,” said Lieutenant Colonel Zack Kahn. “Soon it is time to make difficult choices, which could affect your working life in future. It is possible and within your grasp to become a pilot, navigator, air force practitioner or HR personnel.”

When the base’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Cassie de Castro, asked the pupils who wanted to become a pilot, many hands shot up.

But there are some stringent requirements if you hope to be top gun. You need maths and physical science, 6/6 vision without spectacles or laser correction and a body weight between 53 kg and 104 kg. You also need to be prepared to relocate and be deployed.

Lieutenant Colonel De Castro said a youth development programme helped pupils transition into the air force, but they needed to apply in Grade 9 to be admitted.

The programme covers basic training, navigation, life skills and marching.

Pupils have access to engineers on the base who will help them with their maths and science.

Call Captain Patrick Paulse at 072 389 5441 for more information. Applications for the youth development programme open in January next year and close on February 4.