Young Falcons fligh high

GREAT EXPERIENCE: Tyla Nepgen and Zion Spindler are all smiles.

THE South African Air Force Development Program (SAAF YDP) held the Young Falcons Camp recently.

The camp was held at the Denel Aviation Campus in Kempton Park from July 9 to 22 and included a programme consisting of academics, ceremonial (drill) and physical training.

Denel provided everything the youngsters required during their stay at the camp.

Tyla Nepgen and Zion Spindler from Alberton High were selected to attend the camp during the July school holidays.

The camp is designed to expose Maths and Science learners from poorer communities to aviation. Although the camp is not held within the South African Air Force (SAAF) venue, it is run by the air force.

Learners were exposed to aviation fields and discipline accompanied by SAAF members and educators. Maths and Science classes were conducted daily and pilots and engineers gave presentations on aviation-related subjects.

Learners arrived in their school uniforms from schools nationwide. They were then partnered up and shown to their rooms where they also received South African Air Force uniforms which they wore throughout their stay. Cellphones were taken away from the students on arrival and kept in a safe place or given back to parents.

The learners quickly learned how to adapt to the strict rules and military life. Halfway through the camp there was an open day for parents and students in the form of a mini exhibition.

At the gala dinner, learners were expected to wear their school uniform as it was a formal occasion. They received awards according to their performances as well as certificates.

SALUTE: Tyla Nepgen and Zion Spindler in their outfits, looking like true Airforce pilots.

On the July 18, Mandela Day, the learners were taken up for an exciting ‘aircraft flip’. The highlight of the camp was the Passing Out Parade on the last day when learners were transported to the Air Force Base Swartkop. Family members were invited to witness the event and have some lunch. As the learners marched by, they were saluted by the chief of the air force. This was a proud moment for all parents; they arrived as civilians but left as true South African soldiers.

Tyla and Zion would like to thank Denel Aviation and the South African Air force for an opportunity and experience they will never forget.

Interested schools can contact Lieutenant Colonel Veronica Moeti via email for presentations and application forms at [email protected]

For free daily local news in the south, visit our sister newspapers Alberton RecordComaro ChronicleSouthern Courier and Get it Joburg South Magazine.

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David Pienaar

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