The ranking officer in the landward force, Lieutenant General Lawrence Mbatha, listed seven reasons why the 2022 military skills development (MSD) intake for the SA Army had reason to be proud of the service.
He spoke during a recent visit to the Army’s premier infantry training unit – 3 SA Infantry (SAI) Battalion – in Kimberley.
Apart from half of the Army intake of 1 350, the Kimberley unit currently is home to three thousand SA Police Service (SAPS) recruits, bringing 3 SAI numbers to five thousand plus.
Mbatha gave the MSD recruits an insight into what the landward force contributes as part of the national defence force, both internally and on the African continent.
He highlighted last year’s Exercise Amabutho at the Combat Training Centre (CTC) in the Northern Cape where the Modern Brigade was first unveiled. Lieutenant Colonel Catherine Baloyi reports over six thousand SA Army personnel from various musterings were accommodated and “executed a brigade exercise without incident”.
“This exercise improved the standing of the SA Army in the world rankings,” according to the communications officer.
Four operations – Prosper in KwaZulu-Natal last year; Chariot (humanitarian assistance in the same province); Mistral (peacekeeping in DR Congo); Vikela (part of the Southern African Development Community mission in Mozambique); Armed Forces Day 2022 in Mbombela and 30 and 40 year service parades WERE “executed on behalf” of SA National Defence Force Chief, General Rudzani Maphwanya.
The three-star told the MSDs on parade that two months ago they were civilians with many questions. “Today you are well-disciplined, have hope and understanding and know where you’re going.”