Air Force Base Waterkloof

Air Force Base Waterkloof {AFB Wklf} is an airbase of the South African Air Force. It is situated on the outskirts of Pretoria, and is the SAAF's busiest airbase. The base's name, Waterkloof, is Afrikaans. It means Water Ravine in English. Despite the name, this base is not located in Waterkloof, Pretoria, but lies to the south of Pretoria, 4.34 nmi (8.04 km) to the northeast of Centurion, Gauteng and 3.37 nmi (6.24 km) from AFB Swartkop, at an elevation of 1506 metres (4940 ft).

AFB Waterkloof
South Africa-AFB Waterkloof-002.jpg
AFB Waterkloof passenger terminal.
South Africa-AFB Waterkloof-001.jpg
Control tower at AFB Waterkloof with a South African Air Force Saab JAS 39 Gripen in the foreground.
Airport typeMilitary
OperatorSouth African Air Force
LocationCenturion, Tshwane, Gauteng, South Africa
Elevation AMSL4,940 ft / 1,506 m
Coordinates25°49′48″S 28°13′21″E / 25.83000°S 28.22250°E / -25.83000; 28.22250Coordinates: 25°49′48″S 28°13′21″E / 25.83000°S 28.22250°E / -25.83000; 28.22250
FAWK is located in Gauteng
Location in Gauteng
Direction Length Surface
ft m
01/19 11,001 3,353 Asphalt
06/24 6,299 1,920 Asphalt

The base motto is Acquirit Qui Tuetur (He Obtains Who Defends).

Units currently hostedEdit

  • 2 Squadron - Fighter, attack, reconnaissance
  • 21 Squadron - VIP transport
  • 28 Squadron - Medium transport
  • 41 Squadron - Light transport
  • 44 Squadron - Light transport
  • 60 Squadron - In-flight refuelling, transport, EW/ELINT/AEW
  • 111 Squadron - Light transport (reserve)
  • 140 Squadron - Light transport (reserve)
  • 504 Squadron - Security
  • 5 Air Servicing Unit - Maintenance support
  • Central Photographic Institute - Photographic services
  • JARIC, (Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre) The SANDF National Imagery Exploitation Centre - Strategic Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) support
  • Mobile Deployment Wing - Emergency response
  • SAAF Telecommunications Centre - Communications
  • Ditholo Training Area is managed as an external component of AFB Waterkloof


The base was officially opened on 1 August 1938 as Waterkloof Air Station.[1] Since that time it has always been in the service of the SAAF. It was upgraded to Air Force Base during World War II.



A flight full of Indian citizens who had come to attend a wedding of the Gupta family landed at Waterkloof airbase. This was in contravention of South African law since the airbase is classified as a National Key Point. It was later alleged that former president Jacob Zuma is the one who ordered the flight to land.


  • "World Aeronautical Database". Retrieved 9 January 2009.


  1. ^ "Waterkloof Airbase". Global Security. Retrieved 4 July 2009.

External linksEdit