President Hage Geingob yesterday appointed Air Marshal Martin Kambulu Pinehas, the commander of the Namibian Air Force, as the new chief of the defence force (CDF) with effect from today.
Pinehas replaces Lieutenant General John Mutwa, who has been beset by ill-health since the beginning of last year.
“President Hage Geingob appoints Air Marshal Martin Kambulu Pinehas as chief of the Namibian Defence Force in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Namibian Defence Force and by virtue of the power vested in him by the country’s constitution,” read the statement by presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari yesterday.
“President Hage Geingob today, 31 March 2020, conferred on air vice marshal Martin Kambulu Pinehas, the substantive rank of air marshal and in the same vein, appointed him as chief of the Namibian Defence Force with effect from 1 April 2020,” read the statement.
According to Hengari, as CDF, Pinehas is mandated by Geingob to make provision for a balanced structuring of the defence force and to make suitable appointments of members under his command within prescribed laws, policies, rules and procedures.
Hengari said Pinehas is also mandated to cause charges of indiscipline among members of the defence force to be investigated and prosecuted and to ensure public resources that are placed under his care and stewardship are efficiently managed and accounted for at all times.
“Pinehas is expected to carry out these duties and responsibilities with vigour, determination, dedication, commitment and to be exemplary to the men and women under his command,” Hengari said.
He said Geingob wishes the new chief of the defence force all the best in his new appointment and looks forward to working with him in ensuring the NDF remains a formidable force, ready and able to defend the territorial integrity of Namibia.
Pinehas was appointed the commander of the air wing of the NDF in 2000.
He has over 3 700 flight hours of experience, including 700 as an instructor.
Pinehas joined Swapo’s armed wing in 1980 and was deployed to the Cadet Military Academy in Cuba, which he completed in 1981. He was then sent for jet flying training in Libya in 1984.
His career in NDF started in 1993 after Namibia’s independence when he was inducted with the rank of captain.
In 1994, he was appointed as the commanding officer of the first air wing squadron with the rank of major.
In 1998, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and appointed as the chief of staff of the air wing. In 2000, he was promoted to colonel and appointed as air wing commander; in 2002, he was appointed as air force commander, rising through the ranks of brigadier general until air vice marshal, which he was bestowed in 2008.
He holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Commerce from Regent Business School and has undergone several military and aviation training in Namibia and abroad.
He has received The Excellent Order of the Eagle: Third Class on Heroes’ Day in 2014 from President Hifikepunye Pohamba.