Details of the South African Air Force Vision & Mission
Mission of the SAAF
We provide deployable multi-role air capabilities for the SANDF in service of our country.
SAAF Vision 2012
SAAF Vision 2012 was compiled and published in 2002 as the Air Force’s ten-year strategic plan. As a strategy, it serves as an intellectual construct linking where we are today with where we want to be ten years’ time in a substantive and concrete manner. During the past three years Vision 2012 has achieved a remarkable level of acceptance at all levels of the Air Force, and its long-term objectives have permeated the organisation to the point where even the most junior of our members are able to relate their daily tasks to the Air Force’s strategy.
Once an organisation has adopted a strategy to transform itself over an extended period, the question arises of how frequently such a strategy should be updated to ensure that it remains valid. If the strategy is updated and changed too often, one runs the risk of creating an apathetic attitude in the organisation where some people do nothing and simply wait for the next update in the hope that their responsibilities will be overtaken by the new strategy. If, on the other hand, the strategy is updated too infrequently, it runs the risk of ageing to the point where it is largely outdated and people stop referring to it in the knowledge that real events have already overtaken much of its contents.
To find a workable solution, the Air Force Board decided to conduct a comprehensive strategic revision of Vision 2012 every third year, or whenever a major strategic event triggers such an update. In alternate years, the validity of the strategy is maintained through a process of technical reviews where the fundamental strategy is assumed to be still valid and the only changes made are at the technical level, such as dates, aircraft numbers (to account for losses) and budget amounts.
This year marks the first comprehensive update of Vision 2012, being the third year of its existence. The planning process will follow roughly the same approach as used for the current version of Vision 2012, namely to first review the current status of the organisation, then define the desired future state of the SA Air Force, perform an in-depth analysis of the strategic environment, compare where we are today with where we want to be in ten years and, finally, define a planning framework with tasks and responsibilities to ensure that the objectives are achieved. Planning staff in the Air Force Office are working closely with all stakeholders in the DOD and the SA Air Force to ensure that the updated strategy is an accurate reflection of the desired future state of the organisation, and that our plan to get there is realistic and achievable.
As we then embark on this critical step in creating a viable, vibrant Air Force for the future, it is perhaps wise to consider these inspiring words by futurist John Schaar:
The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created – created first in the mind and will, created next in activity.
The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating.